Having been initiated in 1972, Bexar County's Volunteer Services program is one of the longest existing volunteer programs serving the youth of this community. Nationally, the concept of utilizing volunteers as counselors for probationers was first piloted in 1956 in Royal Oak, Michigan. The idea proved so successful that communities throughout Texas and the U.S. have continued to adopt their own volunteer programs over the years.
Bexar County's Volunteer Program operates with a commitment to the concept of volunteerism, and as such, our primary objective has been to develop a viable coalition of dedicated volunteers to work with our troubled youth with minimal cost to the tax-payer. We work toward this objective through the recruitment and training of community members to work with our clients.
Client referrals are received from the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department. The clients range in age from 10-16 years and their only common bond is that they have been in trouble with the law.
Children who become involved with the Juvenile Probation Department often seem to lack a positive adult role model with whom they can identify and from whom they can receive needed emotional support. The Volunteer Program seeks to address this void by utilizing volunteers on a one-to-one basis or in a group mentoring setting with these clients to offer trust, concern, and friendship in an ongoing relationship.
Currently our program receives county funding for office space and supplies as well as three full-time staff positions. However, we must rely upon donations and fundraising events for all other client activities. We are able to solicit donations through the 501(c) 3 non-profit organization of Bexar County Partners for Youth.
Adolescence is a time rife with change and confusion. To experience this crucial growth period without any emotional support can be devastating. In recognizing and addressing the need for this support among our troubled youth, our volunteers serve a vital community function. With the help of concerned citizens, these youth can become healthy, productive members of the community.
Having been initiated in 1972, Bexar County's Volunteer Services program is one of the longest existing volunteer programs serving the youth of this community. Nationally, the concept of utilizing volunteers as counselors for…