The Unconnected Youth Group is a group of concerned community members who began looking at data and having conversations this summer facilitated by Wanda Fedorchik, BCCP Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator. The group first started the conversation around a piece of data: in 2019 Buffalo County had 17 runaways and 19 youth that were deemed uncontrollable, as reported by the Kearney Police Department. Community members said they would like to continue discussing how to support the youth in Buffalo County. The group decided to start by asking a panel of youth questions concerning resources and supports they are aware of.
With the help of Josh Arias, BCCP Youth Coordinator, they brought a panel of youth together virtually to ask them their perspective on the services available to them currently. Arias helped to provide scenarios that the youth could resonate with in order for them to explain what services they would likely utilize for the given scenario.
Arias gave a report back to the Unconnected Youth group of the findings from the youth panel. Arias said, “Our youth want their voice to be heard. They really appreciated being listened to. Additionally, our youth need resources and they need our community leaders to help bridge the gap and make resources easier to access for any youth who needs them. Our community needs to come together to continue to value the youth voice in our community work. Our youth truly are the experts in this work and we need to listen.”
Fedorchik said, “The Unconnected Youth Group feel a streamlined process for youth, parents, and professionals to navigate resources in the community is needed, as well as promoting existing resources more so the community is aware of what is available when they need it. We will be continuing these conversations.”
If you are interested in this work contact Wanda: firstname.lastname@example.org