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Forum Highlights Services For Youth

OSWEGO, NY – A variety of services for youth was on display recently at the Oswego Elks Lodge.

The second annual Oswego County Youth Program Forum focused n the youth of Oswego County.

Judi Knowlton talks about one of the programs offered through the Girl Scouts Council of CNY.
Judi Knowlton talks about one of the programs offered through the Girl Scouts Council of CNY.

The free event provided a glimpse into the myriad of services available to youth in Oswego County.

Representatives from Oswego County’s human services agencies provided information about the many youth oriented programs that exist in the county and how to properly access them.

The approximately 100 people in attendance had the opportunity to ask questions, gather information and establish contacts with youth service providers.

“The forum offered a broad preview of just what services are available for youth in the county,” noted Kathy Fenlon, director of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, one of the sponsors. “Services can change so often and be updated that it is difficult to keep up with current programs.”

The forum was moderated by Andrew Nicholson. He is a senior at Pulaski High School.

“I am proud to say he is a graduate of our Leadership Oswego County Program,” Fenlon noted. He is also a trained Youth Court member and is active in a lot of other things.”

Andrew Nicholson, a senior at Pulaski High School, moderated the youth forum.
Andrew Nicholson, a senior at Pulaski High School, moderated the youth forum.

The county youth programs that he has participated in have been “Great,” Nicholson said.

“That is the one word I use to sum it all up. I learned so much and I made a lot of friends,” he said.

Participants at the recent youth forum pick up information provided by many of the agencies that took part.
Participants at the recent youth forum pick up information provided by many of the agencies that took part.

Among the programs highlighted was Catholic Charities’ Amigo Mentoring Project.

The program is a school based mentoring program that matches elementary school children with high school students and provides them with a one-on-one peer relationship for support, guidance and friendship.

For more information, contact Catholic Charities at 598-3980.

The audience also heard about programs such as Youth Court and the Youth Advisory Council were featured along with newer programs such as Sibshop.

Besides talking about Youth Court and the Youth Advisory Council, Brian Chetney explained about the many programs Camp Hollis has to offer youth – and people of every age.

Bonnie Holmes highlighted the successful Stuff-A-Bus and Battle of the Books programs offered through Success By 6.

And, David Canfield explained about Youth Advocate Services.

Judi Knowlton updated the audience on programs offered through the Girl Scouts Council of CNY.

“After years and years of being known as ‘cookies and crafts,’ we are now ‘all about the girl’ and her own personal leadership experience,” she pointed out.

Among the other programs were those that help prevent substance abuse by children and their families, increase youngsters’ love of reading, help youth find employment and earn their high school diplomas or GEDs, provide job training experiences, offer assistance for homeless youth and more.

Each agency distributed information about its youth programs.

“It is important to be aware of the many services provided for youth in Oswego County,” said Fenlon. “The forum gives local agencies and schools an opportunity to learn up-to-date information, and to meet the providers of these services.”

For more information on youth programs, contact the United Way at 593-1900 or the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau at 349-3451.