Posted: Jun. 20, 2018 9:45 pm Updated: Jun. 20, 2018 10:06 pm
HANNIBAL, Mo. — Teens in Motion participant Jordan Allen once had trouble communicating with others and shedding her shyness.
It didn’t take Allen long after joining the Douglass Community Services pre-employment/service-learning training program for at-risk youths to get over that hindrance. Now she’s one of the most energetic and outgoing members of the group.
Kids in Motion participants Iyanna Hampton and Re’mayjah Burton faced a similar situation.
“This summer I started out being shy, and now I talk to all of my friends,” Burton said Wednesday morning at the Hannibal Nutrition Center. “I know how to set goals, manage my money, and exhibit teamwork.”
Added Hampton: “The first and most important step is getting out of your comfort zone. Communication is as important as respect.”
Those were just some of the testimonials by current Kids in Motion and Teens in Motion participants given during the organization’s annual informational and inspirational Impact Breakfast, which was attended by community leaders, program donors, advisory council members, founding board emeritus members and curious residents.
The largest group of people wanting to know more about the Kids in Motion and Teens in Motion programs Wednesday were members of the Hannibal Fire Department, which is holding a fire academy for the youths this summer.
“We feel very passionate about these programs, and even if you’re familiar with what these programs are, we hope that you’ll become even more familiar by the end of this breakfast,” said Hannibal School District Superintendent Susan Johnson, who also is chairman of the Kids in Motion and Teens in Motion advisory council.
“It’s heartbreaking to receive a stack of applications to get into the programs that is this thick,” she said, indicating a couple of inches with her thumb and index finger, “and you can only accept so many. It’s our goal to receive enough funding to accept each person who applies.”
David Bleigh with Bleigh Construction told the breakfast audience why he’s a donor to the program.
“I thought TIM was something I could get into, and the projects they do are projects I can help with,” Bleigh said. “It’s my time to step up and help kids make good decisions.”
Amy Vaughn, program director for Kids in Motion and Teens in Motion, closed the breakfast by unveiling a large poster of a photograph taken a few weeks ago. It showed a Kids in Motion participant laughing with an elderly woman. On the poster were the words, “Let all that you do be done in love.”
“This statement is what we do,” Vaughn said. “This program doesn’t just have an impact on the kids. It impacts those in the community, as well.”