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Goodwill to launch mentoring program for kids

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont is launching a new program to help 100 youth ages 12 to 17 overcome disadvantages and plan careers.

Goodwill has received a two-year $299,723 grant to launch the program, known as Goodwill GoodGuides, which helps teens finish school and move into productive careers with the guidance of trusted adults.

The local agency is one of 56 independent Goodwill agencies in the U.S. getting funds through a $19.1 million award to Goodwill Industries International from the U.S. Department of Justice with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The new program targets youth who are at risk for dropping out of school, facing legal trouble, or at risk for delinquency because of abuse, disability, drug or alcohol dependence, or gang membership.

Pairing them with adults in structured relationships, the program aims to help youth build career plans and skills, and prepare for completing school, getting post-secondary training and finding work.

“If we can keep these youth who are at risk out of trouble now, they will be less likely to face even greater hardships down the road,” says Michael Elder, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. “Most importantly, they will have a brighter future.”

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