Youth Mentor: Chris, the Resilient!

IMG_3921Chris has been involved in our Youth Odyssey programs since 2008.  He started when he was just eight years old.  Yes, you are right…that is younger than we normally start participants in our programs.  However, Chris demonstrated a maturity that far exceeded his peers four years his senior.  Since then, he has participated every year in his recreation center program (2-3 times a year) and then continued attending throughout his middle school career at South Park and now at Carroll High School.  Each year growing and expanding his skill-set.

We have see Chris grow leaps and bounds into the well-spoken, considerate, and helpful young man he is today.  So much that in 2013 we invited him to join our youth mentor program.  In this program, youth who are demonstrating good decision-making, applying the life skills we teach in a positive way, Empowered2and have been in our program for at least three years are invited to “give back”. Chris and his fellow mentors volunteer and clean up  Blucher Nature Park and the South Texas Botanical Gardens on a monthly basis, assist Youth Odyssey staff at our school and recreation center programs, learn how to belay/set up/facilitate at our ropes course, and lead our adventure wilderness trips.  Chris’ extensive experience with Youth Odyssey allows him to blend well with our staff, presenting a  strong foundation for the younger students to learn and apply skills easily.

Chris is currently a sophomore at Carroll HS and in his second year of ROTC.  He is always looking for new adventures; whether it be SCUBA diving, roping with Independent Equine or exploring a new trail.  When he learns something new, he always puts his whole heart into it and is determined to fine tune his skills to the best of his ability.  He is a true gem.  We are so very proud of Chris and all that he has accomplished!