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Celebrating Our “Natural Helpers” Who Work With Justice-Involved Teens
by ERIC SHAFER

We are so thankful for our youth mentors! On October 22, 2012, over 100 people came together at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center to celebrate our “Natural Helpers.” Natural Helpers are mentors who have been trained and matched with Court involved youth to provide “whatever works” types of support to youth and their families. Judge Nick Kuntz and Project Director Michelle White, recognized our Natural Helpers in three categories: Years of Service, Special Recognition and Distinguished Service. It is truly amazing to see people giving of themselves for the care of others.

The program included a fantastic dinner followed by a selection from a local vocalist, Billi Nicol. The attendees were then treated to the words and encouragement of motivational speaker, Alfred “Coach” Powell. Coach Powell shared personal stories with the group that included how he was mentored by one of our current Natural Helpers.

Reclaiming Futures, Dayton, Montgomery County celebrates Natural Helpers on an annual basis. Judge Kuntz and Judge Capizzi are always so thankful for the Court’s volunteers and can always be heard saying “We can’t do it alone!”

Here are some photos from our celebration:

 


Eric J. Shafer is the Director of Finance and Human Resources at the Montgomery County Juvenile Court in Dayton, Ohio. Eric has worked in the Justice arena his entire career. Over the past 8 years Eric has served as the Director of Probation Services where he played a key role in the development and implementation of the Reclaiming Futures Model. Eric serves as the Justice Fellow for Montgomery County, Dayton and has been involved in a number of projects locally and nationally promoting the Reclaiming Futures movement. He can be reached at Shafere@mcohio.org.