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Youth Promise Director Addresses Bristol Area Lions Club 03/24/2011

Posted by DS in meetings, speakers.
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Mary Trescot, executive director of Youth Promise, visited the Bristol Area Lions Club recently and explained that her agency is trying to fill the “dustbowl of resources” that has existed in the Midcoast for youth involved in the juvenile court system. With over 25 years’ experience in Lincoln County law enforcement, working with the sheriff’s office to help juvenile offenders and their parents navigate the court system, Trescot is imminently qualified to tackle that challenge. She has been executive director of Youth Promise for 10 years.

Organized in 1994 by Judge Michael Westcott, Youth Promise strives to assist Lincoln County youth coming into the juvenile justice system. Education and outreach are key factors in helping youth and their families to overcome personal challenges. To that end, the agency has developed a number of programs like Mentor Assisted Community Service, which connects each youth with a work site and a caring adult to act as mentor during the community service experience. Jump Start is another program on decision-making and personal responsibility offered to first time juvenile offenders in Lincoln County, again mentoring youth to recognize the relationship between their decisions and the consequences of their actions. Trescot emphasized the importance of a mentor in the lives of these youth, and she invited any interested adult to contact Youth Promise to explore such opportunities.

During her presentation, Trescot provided some grim statistics to the Bristol Area Lions Club. Lincoln County, for instance, has had the highest rate of underage drinking and youth drug abuse in the State for the last 15 years, followed by juveniles in Knox and Waldo Counties. In 2010 alone, Youth Promise served 75 Lincoln County youth.

A new initiative of the agency is Recovery House for Men, which Youth Promise hopes to have up and running soon in the Jefferson area. A self-sustaining center for ex-convicts who would pay rent to live there, Recovery House is seen as a means to break the cycle of crime and substance abuse experienced by many families, thereby benefiting the youth of Lincoln County indirectly.

The Bristol Area Lions Club meets next on Monday, April 4 when Jon Teel, executive director of Weymouth House in Bristol will give a presentation on its new programs to strengthen families and enhance the community at large. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, or to learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, please call 677-2095.

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