Jerry has been a part of our Adventure Challenge program since 2008. He began his journey at Martin Middle School as a 6th grader. For the next two years we watched him grow in confidence and skills. In 2009, he was invited to be a youth mentor because of his ability to inspire others and his good decision-making. Jerry continues to grow and display these qualities, especially on the camping trips he attends with our recreation centers and school programs.
As a mentor, Jerry has been involved in community service projects at Blucher Nature Park in downtown Corpus Christi and the South Texas Botanical Gardens where he and his fellow mentors have spread mulch, collected large amounts of trash, and removed invasive species. Jerry has also been trained (in-house) on our ropes course where he assists staff in belaying and preparing the participants for the challenges.
Also, as a special reward for all their hard work throughout the year, our youth mentors have the opportunity to go on week-long excursions. Jerry has been to Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, and Martin Dies Jr State Park. On these trips, Jerry and his fellow mentors work together to plan hikes, prepare meals, and explore the outdoors in ways that our regular programs are unable to. We are able to go on more difficult hikes and drive longer distances with our experienced youth mentors. Their drive and enthusiasm to safely push the limits and explore faraway places in encouraging; and shows promise for their future.
Jerry will be graduating this spring from the Collegiate High School, and plans is to study Audio Engineering. With this in mind, he continues to help his father’s band by setting up their equipment, instruments, and making careful observations. He also plays both the guitar and drums. In the six years that Jerry has been a mentor with Youth Odyssey, he has grown leaps and bounds. Once a young timid teen, nervous about talking in front of groups; now a young man who is more than comfortable leading youth and passing on his knowledge to the next generation. What a transformation!
We are so proud of him and all that he has accomplished. Youth Odyssey cannot wait to see what he does next!