|‘Young Life is different from a typical youth group’|
Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston:
Isaac Nagle is the local staff representative of Young Life, a new club to help high school youth in the county.
Friday, October 5, 2012
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
Young Life, a national organization with the goal of reaching out to local youth, has come to Franklin County.
The club is custom made for kids throughout their adolescent years. It consists of club leaders, mostly of college age, who meet and get to know high school students. Young Life provides a place where youth can make friends, hang out and be themselves, all while learning about God's love.
"We're just getting started," said Isaac Nagle, Young Life Rocky Mount leader. "Young Life already exists in Blacksburg, Roanoke and surrounding areas. Now, we have brought it here to Rocky Mount."
A Young Life committee, led by Jane Jacobsen, first met a little over a year ago. The new group began hosting informational meetings and started to put funding together.
Steve Schmitt, the area developer of Young Life, went around to different places in Southwest Virginia, and held interest and committee meetings in an effort to see if Young Life could be brought to Franklin County. Once it was decided that Young Life would be beneficial to the area, Nagle was hired.
"I moved here about a month and a half ago from Blacksburg, where I attended Virginia Tech," said Nagle. "Right now, it's all about getting to know people. I've been allowed to be the yearbook consultant at the high school since I was on the yearbook staff at my high school. So I'm in that classroom every day."
"We've attended Rotary meetings and held a pastor's breakfast," he added. "Our goal right now is to meet and really get to know people in the community and to start building relationships. I'm trying to get to know every kid so that they all have a chance to learn about Young Life and be a part of it."
Young Life meetings will take place once a week outside of school, starting in late winter or early spring. The meetings will consist of games, skits, eating out, meeting friends and learning of God's love for kids.
"It's a very different feel from a typical youth group," Nagle said. "It's a place where kids can feel comfortable and let go of their social parameters and just be themselves."
The program is funded by local donors.
"We have a lot of donors in the community," Nagle said. "Families, individuals and churches are all supporting us in different ways. When they learn about the program and see our vision for the local youth, they want to show us support."
The program still needs volunteer leaders to work with the youth.
"We are looking for individuals who want to be a part of this," said Nagle. "We understand the trust that we have with the schools and parents, so our process of finding leaders is very thorough."
Young Life has already taken a group of four adolescents to visit Hidden Valley's Young Life club.
"They (the youth) are very excited and ready to get this started," said Nagle. "They want to get it off the ground right away."
The program also includes fall and summer camps and a possible t-shirt sale and dodgeball tournaments.
A Young Life banquet will be held in the Law Cafeteria at Franklin County High School on Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. The banquet will be an official introduction of the club to parents and the community.
"I'm incredibly excited," said Nagle. "This is something I took part in during high school myself. A college student came to my high school every day and invited me to the club. I went and I was hooked."
"It's exciting to see a committee that's so ready to bring this here and so ready for kids in this community to get to experience this," he added. "I couldn't be more pumped."
To learn more about the Young Life program, or to make a donation, contact Nagle at 540-392-0943, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit younglife.org.