Louisville’s ‘Right Turn’ Program Hopes To Mentor 500 At-Risk Youth

Louisville is creating a new grant-funded program to help at-risk youth who’ve been in the juvenile justice system or who have mental or health issues, Mayor Greg Fischer and Congressman John Yarmuth announced Wednesday.

Louisville youth, ages 16 to 19,  will be referred to the program through agencies and non-profits and will receive career advice, job training and help with meeting personal goals, according to a city news release.

The idea is to help improve the opportunities for at-risk youth before they make mistakes that can lead to arrests, unemployment or worse.

Related: At-Risk Students and Louisville’s Daunting Education Challenge

Fischer said each young person will be matched with case managers and mentors who will stay with them for at least two years.

“The mentors are all volunteers,” Fischer said at a news conference. “They’re going to work one on one to set meet and maintain not just career goals but personal goals at the same time. The participants will be in specialized programs as well and classes and the mentor and the participants are going to work together to create those goals and then follow on success over a two-plus year program.”

Fischer said youth deserve a second chance and helping them now can save the public from having to pay for mistakes made later.

The Right Turn program is currently serving dozens of youth and in September hundreds more will be served by the program. The program is being run through the Kentucky Youth Career Center downtown, and is being funded by two federal grants totaling $2.25 million.

The grants were given to KentuckianaWorks and the Greater Louisville’s Workforce Investment Board. 

The program is seeking volunteers to help mentor youth.

Devin Katayama

Devin Katayama hosts middays for WFPL and reports on education and other Louisville issues.

@DevinWFPL

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