From its new location on Atkinson Street, Scots for Youth will continue a 28-year career of giving young people an avenue to improving their lives.
The nonprofit organization moved last month from its Main Street office, where it operated for 25 years, to 303 Atkinson Street.
“It felt funny, but I think we’ve made this home,” said Jean Barbour, Scots for Youth vocational program coordinator. “It’s a good location and still discreet for our clients so that they can come in and not feel conspicuous.”
Scots for Youth serves at-risk youth, who are referred primarily through the court system. For many clients, participation in Scots for Youth programs is a condition of their court-ordered probation.
The four-person staff provides substance abuse classes, community service and restitution programs, and vocational mentoring programs for troubled children and teenagers.
“I am doing a vocational mentoring program where I help these kids look at options and realize that there are some positive things that they can do in their lives instead of getting into trouble over and over again,” said Barbour. “We help them learn to fill out job applications and write a resume and do mock job interviews, things like that.”
Typically more than 30 youth are served at a time, with caseloads varying among staff members.
“Typically I have no more than five kids in my caseload at a time because I’m required to see that child face-to-face every week,” Barbour said.
Scots for Youth is funded largely by annual grant monies, in addition to United Way funding and contributions from local individuals and businesses. In September, Laurinburg’s Wells Fargo selected Scots for Youth to receive a monetary contribution through its community giving program.
The organization’s old office will be used for another purpose by its owner. However, the physical relocation will not bring other changes for Scots for Youth, which will continue its mission as usual.
“We’re still here and very committed to trying to turn as many juveniles around as we can and letting them see that there’s hope for a better life and that they don’t have to resort to criminal behavior to feel worthwhile,” said Barbour.