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Organization helps teens find the right path

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I look back at my own children as teens and can’t imagine how their lives would have been without parents to guide and protect and provide for them. That is not true for many kids in our community. Far too many teens have no one who cares, no place to go and no help in navigating through daily life.

Thankfully, we have nonprofit organizations that do care. One I was introduced to recently is Pivot.

When a teenager steps through the doors of Pivot, his or her whole person is cared for — basic needs of food, clothing, personal hygiene items, a safe place to live, help with emotional and behavioral well-being, education, finding employment, mentoring and how to be part of a community.

Licensed therapists, youth advocates and specialists trained to identify adverse childhood experiences make up their staff. These professionals offer help with physical, emotional or sexual abuse, community violence, parental divorce or the incarceration of a parent or guardian. Depression, poor nutrition, high risk behaviors, substance abuse, anxiety, unlawful actions and grief also are addressed.

In addition to staff, dozens of men and women in this community volunteer by giving their time to mentor and be an adult a teen can turn to and learn from. Other volunteers and businesses are helping build tiny homes where older teens can live and learn how to care for a house, be a good neighbor and have a place to belong.

Alone, without adequate guidance from adults, these kids face overwhelming barriers. Without resources to overcome the barriers, it is unlikely they will successfully transition into self-reliant adults.

With Pivot, their fears turn to hope.

To learn more, go to the organization’s website, pivotok.org. Perhaps you may find a way to be involved.

Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at clankard@cox.net .

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