New program for at risk teens starts next month in Richmond County

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A new program starts next month to help at risk male teens. The Richmond County Juvenile Courts will partner with the organization Full Circle Refuge to help young men avoid a life of crime.

NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Osborne sat down with the Full Circle Refuge’s founder and executive director Devon Harris to discuss the new program.

“It’s called One Degree at a Time. Change the Way You Think and Act, says Harris.

This will be a new court ordered program that will meet every Saturday for 2 hours at a time for 10 weeks. Harris says they will start with about 10 young men.

“We’re going to ask them first of all why you’re here? And then ask them, who are you?” Harris explains. “It’s really a psychological, from my past military, a psychological warfare. Really tripping them up in a sense of trying to think and change the way you think and act. It’s really about what’s in your heart, what’s in your mind that you’re going to put in your hands and trying to redirect that from illegal things to legal things.”

Some of the things they will talk about are more abstract.

“How do you deal with fear? Are you a hero to somebody? Who is your hero?” Harris says are some of the questions young men will have to answer.

Some of the other topics they will discuss are tied to statistics.

“The average gang member makes $1.25 an hour and after you do all the statistics and everything, all the processes, of all the things you have to pay out or hand over or it’s really not your money. Just really talking about that and making young men think,” Harris says.

Men in the community, here is where you come in because Harris says he needs your help!

If we have 10 young men in the program, we need 5 successful men in our community to come alongside us,” Harris says. “We will hold your hand through it. We will talk you through it. We aren’t going to feed you to the wolves.

It would be great if you could, but you do not need need to commit to all 10 Saturdays. Harris says even if you can just give 2 hours on one of your upcoming Saturdays, it will make a difference

“Everybody’s got a story and here’s an opportunity to tell your story–the good, the bad and the ugly,” Harris says.

Harris says even just your presence could change someone’s life.

“I’ve walked cold turkey into some places in our schools and have some young man come up and tell me some personal thing that they just felt comfortable to tell me about that they’d be challenged by. That’s amazing to me!” Harris says, “so we need men to come alongside so you can plant that seed and give life to that young guy.”

You can visit the Full Circle Refuge website or Facebook page. Harris says the best way to connect with him is through email.

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