Press Release: United Way of Forsyth County Supported Programs Provide Critical Help to At-Risk Youth

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Approximately 265 Forsyth County troubled teens this year are getting a second chance to graduate high school after committing a juvenile offense, thanks to United Way of Forsyth County (UWFC) supported programs similar to a Dallas United Way program that will be featured on an Oprah Winfrey Network Docu-Series episode of “The Hero Effect,” airing on Dec. 10 at 10:30 a.m.
The UWFC supported “Work & Earn It “program is for teens who have committed offenses that could lead to incarceration.  At-risk teens are referred to the program by juvenile court counselors in order to pay restitution or perform community service.  The target population is youth ages 9 and 17 who are on probation or have been diverted from Juvenile Court. Local non-profits and governmental agencies collaborate by providing locations for the participants to perform their community service.  The youth not only compensate their victims, but also learn valuable vocational skills. 
The UWFC supported “Teen Court” program gives juvenile offenders the opportunity to perform community service and give back to their community. The program’s target population is youth between the ages nine and 15 who are first-time offenders or those who have been diverted from Juvenile Court.  The youth are required to serve on teen court, which also provides life skills lessons designed to help the teens make better choices and become accountable for their actions. Local attorneys and judges serve as judges and all proceedings are held in the Hall of Justice where actual court cases are heard.
A new inspirational docu-series, The Hero Effect, to air on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on Dec. 10 at 10:30 a.m., features an episode highlighting a United Way-supported restaurant and culinary training facility in Dallas that provides a positive environment for teens recently released from juvenile detention.
“United Way of Forsyth County is dedicated to supporting at-risk youth throughout the County,” said Cindy Smith Gordineer, UWFC president and CEO. “By shining a spotlight on “Café Momentum,” The Hero Effect is underscoring the important work that is needed to help young people across our country gain the education, skills and confidence they need to succeed as adults.”
The Hero Effect brings to life the stories of ordinary individuals who are making extraordinary differences in their communities.  The ten-episode original series brings audiences real-life stories that build on United Way’s credo to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community
Presented by United Way, produced by Dolphin Entertainment and hosted by Donald Driver, a former Wide Receiver for the Green Bay Packers and Emily Wilson, a philanthropist and actress, each episode of The Hero Effect concludes with a call to action, encouraging viewers to visit and connect with their local United Way or other community-based organizations to create positive change.
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