Christian youth center has eye to the future
By Jeanne Millsap For The Herald-News May 2, 2012 3:10PM
Updated: June 4, 2012 10:27AM
MORRIS — The Christian Youth Center of Morris lost its founding director last summer when Nick Marcoux resigned to accept another position, but under the leadership of new director Pete Vienne, it is flourishing and continuing to better the lives of the area’s teenagers.
“I miss my friends and their leadership so much,” Vienne told those gathered at the center’s annual banquet last week, “but their legacy is being carried on here.”
Center volunteer and First Presbyterian Church minister Pastor Roy Backus said one of those ways is by the community’s adults becoming involved in teenagers’ lives. Not all teens have parents who are positive role models, he said, but by volunteers stepping in to provide that important mentorship, lives are being turned around.
“We do what we see,” Backus said, “and it’s the adults we have in our lives who set that example.”
Backus said his own children are going through the same thing teenagers all over go through, but they have a safe home environment.
“A lot of teenagers don’t have a safe place to go,” he said.
That’s what the center offers to them, he said. A safe place to open up, let go, and let the word of God sink in. It’s not even about putting down rebellious natures, either, he added.
“It’s important to allow some rebellion,” he said. “Every good youth program is on the verge of getting kicked out of their church. But in the CYC, God has brought adults together with these teenagers to help re-parent them.”
Backus said the program is in need of more adult volunteers.
“Be thankful that God wants to use you to re-parent these kids,” he said.
Adults are also needed at the facility for after-school tutoring programs, to bring snacks to the programs, to help with fundraising, to volunteer time and services for construction, to provide prayer and for monthly cleaning services.
Projects for the building include finishing the gym ($8,000), raising the floor in the last classroom and office ($20,000), heating and air conditioning ($12,000), finishing the gym bathrooms ($15,000) and finishing the classroom and office area ($25,000).
For more information about the Christian Youth Center Morris, visit www.cycmorris.com or call 815-416-9424.