Rapid City, Journey On partner to empower youth through innovative programs and outreach initiatives

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Monday-Friday
Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 11:26 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Rapid City will be partnering up with Journey On after the approval of a grant supporting two new pilot programs by the Rapid City Council.

The two separate pilot programs will be geared toward helping young members of the Rapid City community.

The Safe Passage program will aim to help youth get to and from school safely in areas experiencing high rates of violence. This program also helps youth as they are traveling from after-school activities and summer programming and events, providing those kids with limited transportation a way to expand what they are able to do after school. In addition, Journey On will provide outreach to kids and families that are struggling with traumatic events and truancy and provide them with a service that could help with whatever issues they may be going through.

The second program is focused on youth outreach, primarily those at risk of engaging in gang or other violent activities and redirecting them to service provider networks and more positive youth-related activities. In doing so, Journey On will employ credible messengers, such as Journey On staff, as an effective way to reach kids who are thinking about or are already engaging in gang and drug activities. Plus, the mentors will aim to help remove barriers in those communities.

“This is just a way to both proactively find ways to connect with those young folks in our community and then hopefully thereafter, through that connection, get them connected with more positive activities so that they can flourish in both their school pathways as well as their career pathways thereafter,” explained Rapid City Police Department’s program manager for the community outreach department, Jamie Kirsch.

The contract for the Safe Passage and High Risk Intervention programs is going to be reviewed every year for the 3-year period. The goal of Journey On is to be independently capable of maintaining these programs after three years.