SUCCESS STORIES

Why Do Teens in Our Area Need EDGE?

Every teenager is different. For some high schoolers, the needs are fairly simple: a safe place to spend the hours after school instead of being alone at home while parents are at work.

For others, EDGE offers teens a sense of connection and purpose. It’s more than a place to hang out, stay safe, study and participate in life changing programs – it’s a place where they can interact with caring adults who strive to help teens develop character traits that will enable them to make a positive impact in their world.

“You have no idea how much you guys have helped/changed me. I’ve become so much more since I started coming to EDGE. One big thing that EDGE has done for me is break my shyness streak that I had going for about 5 years, thank you for that. Also, without EDGE I wouldn’t have a lot of the friends that I have now.” – Teen

What Do Students Gain from Community Service?

Increased self-esteem and sense of purpose. Leadership and decision-making skills. Experience serving under-resourced people in their own community. And the empowerment that comes with knowing they can make a difference. Long-term, we expect these experiences instill in teens a lifelong value for serving their community.

“Every single week, there are some students serving who have already achieved their required number of service hours yet continue to do so for the love of serving,” says EDGE’s Annie Droege. “I had a student text me Friday night to get the info from Matthew 25:Ministries (where we were serving the following day). She was so happy about her volunteer work there that she wanted to get her entire family to come with her on Saturday to serve!”

How Does Our Community Benefit from EDGE’s Community Service Program?

The program helps meet a need of many local social service agencies that are in particular need of volunteers during after-school hours – a time of day that is more difficult to recruit adult volunteers. Here are some of the comments we’ve received from these social service agencies:

“It’s great to see the young generation take pride in helping others, and the clients we serve love to see them. They are a great help to us and our community.”

“We always manage to accomplish our goals and the kids learn how to work with one another, as well as what to expect at a real job. The students continue to grow their leadership skills as they move into careers and into the community at large. The EDGE program is helping to develop young people who in my opinion will be our leaders of tomorrow.”