orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

August 11, 2013

Life Skills classes start Monday

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — The Substance Abuse Division of Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission is initiating change by offering ARISE Life Skills classes in Orange.

“We saw a need within the youth of the community,” Contract Specialist/Case Manager Crystal Perry said. “There is treatment for adults and we felt there should be something available for the youth.”

ARISE is a Juvenile Justice Diversion project of the Substance Abuse Division. Funding for the project through an application to the Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division.

The curriculum includes anger management, a day in the life of a teenage mother, and how to define a true friend.

Initial referrals for the program came through suggestions from law enforcement, schools, housing authorities, faith-based groups. The classes are open to all youth between the ages of 12-17.

Deborah Mitchell, who has 34 years of education experience through WOCISD, is the instructor for the classes.

“I have a desire to make a difference,” Mitchell said. “I volunteered because our youth deserve a chance.”

The courses are free and parents are asked to attend the first meeting with the child.

“We want the parents to truly understand what the courses are about,” Mitchell said.

The ARISE Life Skills Management curricula was created by the ARISE Foundation based in  North Palm Beach, Florida established in 1986 expressly for educating high-risk youths.

Southeast Texans rank alcohol use and marijuana use as the dominant problems among teenagers, according to a regional survey.

These are among the results of a survey conducted by the Lamar University Center for Public Policy Studies, in collaboration with the Substance Abuse Division of the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission.

The study was conducted in late 2008 and employed a phone survey of Southeast Texans, primarily in the tri-county region of Hardin, Jefferson and Orange counties.

The classes are 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. each Monday starting Aug. 12 at The City of Orange neighborhood Community Room loctaetd at 303 North 8th Street in Orange. The course is free.