A national survey finds that about 12 percent of Americans 16 to 24 are disconnected from their communities. In Blair County, the percentage is even higher at 14.4 percent.
This is one of the major issues focused on Tuesday by members of the Healthy Blair County Coalition,.
They’re working on efforts to mentor local young people, to help them stay in school, to prepare for jobs, and also offering support to them in challenges at home and school. Their Youth Connection Task Force is encouraging residents who need help with this or who’d like to help to get involved.
“We need these youth and families at that table. We can’t make those decisions for them, make those choices, and know what they need without hearing their voice, so the purpose of this is to engage them,” said Kayla Hendricks, Youth Connection Task Force
Hendricks said many people who succeed in life have one strong person in their lives that they can reach out for help and guidance. In her work with the task force, she’s learned that many young people don’t have this. That’s why it’s important to help them build relationships and connections with others in their community.