New program aims at helping young people in court

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2016

You may be able to make a difference in a troubled child’s life and don’t even know it.

Mike Garner, chair of Davie’s juvenile crime prevention council, thinks a new partner can help with those adolescents who end up in court.

It matches mentors with those young people – usually a mentor recommended by the child.

Often, he said, those mentors are already someone in that child’s life. That’s on purpose. “The kids come up with potential candidates they know who are already in their life.”

After screenings of the mentors, they are matched with a child. It could mean a couple of hours a week, maybe more or less, according to Garner, who is a mentor coach for Davie County.

“We’re trying to help these kids, give them some direction, help them to overcome their obstacles.”

Life Connections of the Carolinas operates the program.

Garner said it is amazing how many of the people a child may identify as a potential mentor – a teacher, a coach, a neighbor, a relative – say yes. People want to help.

Not only do the children suggest potential mentors, they can choose ones who may be in a specific career or hobby.

The mentoring lasts for one year, although mentors can work with more than one child at a time. The concept was developed by the National Guard as an alternative to community-based mentoring.

To learn more, contact Garner at 336-407-8151 or