"Encouraged people achieve the best; dominated people achieve second best; neglected people achieve the least." - Anonymous
There are many factors that go into defining a youth as вЂњat-riskвЂќ -A teen who struggles in school or has problems with athority. Children who come from broken families or low-income households are often more susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse. Many times all these youth need is an influential adult in their lives, someone to believe in them and encourage them.
It isnвЂ™t uncommon for at-risk youth to fight depression and thoughts of suicide. Oftentimes they end up in gangs or get in trouble with the judicial system, situations that are very hard to pull themselves out of. ThatвЂ™s where having a mentor can be very beneficial. If they have someone who holds them accountable, someone who believes in them, it will be much easier to avoid the negative forcesin their lives, and work to achieve their dreams.
Become involved with a mentoring program in your community. Maybe you have experiences that can help you relate to them. Making a difference in a child or teen's life could change your own life. Help him or her set goals and define the path necessary to reach them. Or help him or her find a hobby he or she is good at. Most of all, just be a strong support system for that youth.
Look for at-risk warning signs in your own children, and to help them overcome the stressors that influence them, without drugs or alcohol.