Each year we run several initiatives in our local communities that are designed to educate, inspire, build relationships and support youth. It takes $500 for The Dam to provide an outreach event impacting around 115 youth.
Each year we visit and present to each grade 7 and 8 class at our local middle schools. The presentations focus on life choices they will be faced with and the array of outcomes that will flow out of those choices over time. We also open a dialog on any number of social issues that are relevant in their school and Family Life. The topics can range from bullying to peer pressure to healthy friendships.
Connecting with the high school ages is done in a more personal way.
To do this effectively we maintain a weekly presence in the places where we know students will be hanging out at lunch time and after school. Through this presence we come alongside and are able to talk through the issues facing these young adults. We also make The Dam’s location and services known to them and to the school at large through more formal channels.
Through the summer months we organize basketball sessions each week at our local courts. The countless hours on the court are an amazing vehicle through which we build mutual trust, relationship, and respect. Our Basketball outreach finishes with an annual tournament which has become a much anticipated event. Every year hundreds of people come to enjoy the entertainment, free food and the basketball.
The Dam staff have regular speaking engagements which act as a platform for us to educate and inspire teens on the more pressing issues facing our youth. We addressed 20 different schools last year. In addition we have regular engagements with educators and parent groups. Spreading our message and our techniques has inspired countless others to take on these challenges, created strong relationships between The Dam and other organizations and has truly impacted the broader community in coming alongside their youth.