A mentoring program reached out to New Braunfels youth Saturday.
Heritage Children, along with JAWS Skate Team and CommunityBibleChurch, sponsored Coaching Youth for Life Day at ErnestEikelPark.
“Heritage Children has been in San Antonio for seven years mentoring within the foster care community,” said Bobbi Kloss, Heritage Children founder and president. “We were getting calls from New Braunfels to work here, so we decided to reach out.”
Heritage Children is a not-for-profit organization that serves children, youth and young adults ages 6 to 21 from single parent, foster care and youth whose parents are incarcerated, according to the Heritage Children’s website — www.heritagechildrentx.org.
“We provide character development and mentoring from a Christian perspective,” Kloss said. “By the age of 18, these kids will be able to manage life skills.”
Coaching Youth for Life Day, an event to celebrate Heritage Children’s coming to New Braunfels, included a five-mile run at 9 a.m., food, music and games.
Kloss said about 100 runners participated in the five-mile run.
“We wanted to bring attention to this (skate) park in New Braunfels because we will be working with this group of kids,” Kloss said. “We will focus our attention on this part of town and the kids here.”
Veronica Byrd, 19, received a mentor from Heritage Children while in the foster care system.
“I was with a mentor for four years,” Byrd said. “When I met Bobbi, we talked about what I was going through, and she found someone I could talk to.”
Byrd was the first in her family to graduate from high school and attend college. She hopes to become a psychologist or counselor.
Jim Skinner, head of JAWS skate team, said Heritage Children asked to partner with his organization in order to connect with the skate park and its users.
“The skate park is an outdoor informal community center,” Skinner said. “We are teaming up to do a demo by the JAWS skate team for the runners.”
Skinner said the skate park functions as a mentoring tool and plays a similar role to Heritage Children.
“If you notice, there’s no graffiti here,” Skinner said. “We teach the kids to keep the park clean and take responsibility for it because it’s like their home.”
Kloss said the skate park allows Heritage Children to expose its program to the children using it.
“No matter what path they are going down, we want these kids to know they can always go down the right path again,” Kloss said.
For more information about Heritage Children, visit www.heritagechildrentx.org or call (210) 495-5352 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (210) 495-5352 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.