Feature Story

We believe all children have amazing potential, and it is our honor to help every person who walks through our door to discover their unique path to success, meaning, and responsibility in their life. We recently had the privilege of working with Jayden (name changed for privacy).

Jayden was referred to our Station House Adjustment Program (SHA), which provides mandatory community service to first-time offenders who commit minor (petty) offenses, as a consequence for their behavior. In addition to community service, the youth are taught life skills such as stress management, healthy relationships, conflict resolution, money management, and more.

When we met Jayden during an intake interview, our staff could tell that Jayden had several passions, but did not know where or how to start expressing them. We love helping youth identify their unique talents and interests and discover positive ways to use them!

Jayden quickly begin to excel as a volunteer. His social nature and quick laughter brought a lightheartedness to every task he tackled. Not only did he complete all of his requirements for the SHA program, he volunteered over the required amount of hours needed.

In his final post-program survey, Jayden wrote, “I didn’t know what to expect from this program, but it ended up being fun and it helped.”

We are proud that, year after year, over 95% of our SHA participants do not have further police contact. We are equally as proud that, every year, participants and their parents consistently rate SHA 4.5 or higher on a 5-point scale.

Sometimes we all stumble off the path to success, but Middle Earth is here to help our community’s teenagers correct their course. Jayden is now looking forward to joining Middle Earth’s Summer Employment program where he will earn a stipend for attending lessons regarding obtaining and maintaining employment in his hometown. Jayden is well on the path to a responsible adulthood and we couldn’t be prouder!