"At risk" teens participate in character building program.
Established in February 2006 in the City of Santa Clarita, the VIDA Program or Vital Intervention and Directional Alternatives, is a 16-week program designed to assist "at-risk" youth between the ages of 12 and 17 by redirecting negative behavior into positive alternatives.
In providing the program, the City of Santa Clarita and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station recognize the importance of offering counseling, family action, community service, physical training, team building, and career guidance to wayward youth in our community. All this is done in an effort to help redirect negative behavior of our youth, who may be tempted to explore gang affiliation, drug use, or crime. "By putting positive influences around these youth, we can help them realize their self-worth, establish goals and avoid gangs, drugs, crime and negative influences," said Captain La Berge. He added, "We must do our part with our youth, as they are the future of this great community."
This Saturday will mark the end of the program for twenty-two Santa Clarita Valley youths, but will also mark the beginning of their new outlook and potentially a lifetime of positive influences and contacts established through the program. The graduates of Class #13 will be formally recognized at the ceremony. Grant money from the Federal Government's Gang Resistance Education and Training Program (GREAT); in collaboration with volunteers from the United States Marine Corps, members of community based organizations and city officials, helped supplement the program.