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Investing in Our Youth: Kent Will Build a Safer Future Together

In today’s rapidly changing world, the importance of investing in our youth cannot be overstated. Young people are not just future leaders but also vibrant members of our central Oregon community today. Their ideas, energy, and vision are crucial for developing a healthier, safer, and more inclusive society. Kent Vander Kamp recognizes a comprehensive approach to youth outreach programs is vital in steering our youth away from the pathways that lead to violence and crime and towards avenues that promise brighter futures.

Youth Outreach

The Case for Youth Outreach Programs

Youth outreach programs serve as a critical bridge between young individuals and the broader societal framework, ensuring that positive experiences and opportunities with law enforcement mark the youth’s transition into adulthood. These programs are about preventing adverse outcomes and creating positive ones. They provide young people with the skills, knowledge, and support they need to succeed.

One of the key insights from research and initiatives highlighted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is the undeniable link between investing in youth programs and reducing juvenile delinquency and violence. These programs, ranging from mentorship and after-school activities to educational support and vocational training, are not merely activities; they are lifelines for many young people.

The Three Pillars of Effective Youth Outreach

  1. Mentorship and Support: Mentorship is at the heart of successful youth outreach programs. A mentor can offer guidance, support, and a positive role model for young people. This relationship can help steer youth from negative influences and toward positive decision-making.

  2. Education and Career Preparation: Equipping young people with education and career readiness skills is crucial. This includes traditional academic support, vocational training, and life skills education. Such preparation opens doors to future employment opportunities, enabling young people to envision a future filled with possibilities.

  3. Community Engagement: Active participation in community activities helps youth understand their value within the community. It fosters a sense of belonging and responsibility. Community service or community-based projects can also provide practical experiences that build character and a sense of civic duty.

The Impact

Investing in youth outreach programs has a ripple effect on society. It not only aids in reducing the rates of juvenile delinquency and crime but also contributes to the formation of well-rounded, responsible adults. Communities that actively support these programs witness improvements in the lives of the young participants and the community’s overall health and safety.

The Way Forward

The future of our community depends on the well-being and development of its youth. As Sheriff, Kent Vander Kamp will invest in our community's collective future by supporting and expanding youth outreach programs throughout Deschutes County. It's about creating environments where young people feel valued, understood, and supported. When we invest in our youth, we invest in a safer, more prosperous future for all.

Kent Vander Kamp commits to championing these programs and initiatives as we look ahead. Kent will work all—law enforcement, educators, policymakers, and community members—to ensure that every young person has the opportunity to thrive. After all, the strength of our community lies in the health, happiness, and success of its youngest members.

Kent Vander Kamp, a passionate advocate for youth development, found his calling in volunteering with the Oregon Youth Challenge. This organization is renowned for its commitment to empowering young individuals to overcome challenges, build character, and achieve their full potential. Kent's decision to become a mentor reflects his belief in the transformative power of mentorship in the lives of young people.


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