Young Life hopes to help teens

Jan. 27—Pontotoc County has a new group called Young Life.

Young Life is a worldwide faith-based outreach program for middle school, high school, and college students. With over 80 years of experience, Young Life is committed to helping adults enter the lives of adolescents, walk alongside them, and love them regardless of their faith choices.

"I first encountered Young Life in high school," organizer Angela Pratt said Tuesday. "I went to Westmoore High School. I was a kid, and my Young Life leader brought me doughnuts on Monday morning. Eventually, I was willing to hang out with her and get to know her more."

"We've been talking to the community, talking to a lot of people who care about our youth, and feel like there is an opportunity to hang out with kids, love on kids, outside of school and church," she added. "It is about adults who care about kids and want to have a positive impact on kids. We go where they are, building positive friendships with them and walking along life with them.

Pratt said they are a faith-based organization.

"But our main heart is for kids to be seen, known, and loved, and to continue to be walked with, regardless of their faith choice," she said. "A lot of our kids never make a faith choice, and we want to show them that it doesn't change our commitment or care for them."

Pratt said Young Life hopes to include these activities...

-Weekly Prayer at Wintersmith Park for Pontotoc youth. Every Monday at 8:15 am at the Amphitheater in Wintersmith Park we gather with anyone who would like to pray together for our county's adolescents.

-Distributing Gifts to all 267+ middle school teachers in Pontotoc County, partnering with local businesses to provide a fresh treat and cup full of gifts to thank teachers for showing up for students daily.

County-Wide Young Life Jump Start meetings. These are an open invitation to come and hear what Young Life is all about and how there is a seat for everyone at their table. They will be distributing flyers, posters, and yard signs across the county.

Angela's husband Andrew is also on the Young Life team.

"For me, I really, firmly believe in my heart that it would have a positive impact on Pontotoc County," Andrew said. "It's an opportunity for adults to step into the lives of kids. I believe that Pontotoc County will be better because of Young Life."