By Gary Lloyd
Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale on Tuesday visited with young minibike riders in Clay as part of the National Youth Project Using Minibikes program.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has participated in the program for more than 10 years. The program is administered by school resource deputies each summer. They serve as instructors and mentors for the youth.
“We are the only agency in the state that participates in the program,” said Chief Deputy Randy Christian.
National Youth Project Using Minibikes began in 1969 as an innovative way to engage youth and promote positive youth development. Integral to NYPUM’s design is an essential mentoring component that guides and supports youth to make good decisions and improve their social skills all centered on exciting and challenging activities.
NYPUM combines the incentive of riding minibikes for youth between the ages of 10 and 17 and the love of the outdoors with the support that comes with the relationships that develop among participants and their mentors.
Since its inception, NYPUM has proven to be highly effective at youth mentoring. Whether at-risk or not, youth that have challenges with their behavior or academic performance can be positively affected by the experience.
“In more recent years, NYPUM has demonstrated that it is also valuable as a prevention program to motivate youth to make positive choices,” Christian said. “This versatility makes NYPUM adaptable to almost any youth development issue.”
For more information, visit www.nypum.org
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