Joseph Harless of Johnson City Provides Tips to Support At-Risk Youth in Creative Ways During COVID-19 Pandemic
Many at-risk youths are not receiving the support that they need because of the changes that have occurred with the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools have closed, community centers have closed, and churches have gone virtual. Joseph Harless of Johnson City, an aspiring Christian youth minister, offers ways to offer support.
Joseph Harless of Johnson City explains that at-risk youth are those who are less likely to succeed on their own. They need support to help with their academic success as well as job readiness. Many of these youth do not have the support they need from parents, which means they depend on the community for help. However, not all youth are being identified as needing support.
Joseph Harless recognizes that there are difficulties due to the pandemic. However, many organizations have embraced technology and have learned to thrive. Zoom, Skype, and other teleconferencing tools are used to help youth get the one-on-one conversations that they need. Even group conference calls can be made, showing that a person is not alone. In some instances, youth ministers can even offer virtual office hours, as Joseph Harless of Johnson City suggests can be useful.
During the pandemic, at-risk youth need to be identified as such by themselves, their parents, or by others who are working closely with them, such as teachers or employers. It can make it easier to connect those youth with the resources that are available within their community.
Technology During COVID-19 | Joseph Harless of Johnson City
With so much technology being introduced throughout the pandemic, there are plenty of resources available. Joseph Harless of Johnson City recommends that many at-risk youths identify where their needs are. Organizations are offering free lessons and tutorials, which can help individuals gain valuable skills, ranging from resume building to typing to leadership training. This can help at-risk youth get their lives on track so that they can obtain better career opportunities.
As someone who has been connected with a local church for years, Joseph Harless has found that following Christ can help at-risk youth. Although churches have been told to turn to virtual sermons and services, it can still be beneficial. Youth who are having a hard time finding their way can watch live services on Sundays at various times. Beyond that, they can connect with pastors during virtual office hours in order to discuss their struggles and learn of various coping mechanisms that can be used.
Joseph Harless of Johnson City also recommends using Facebook groups as a way to connect with others in order to avoid feeling so isolated during the pandemic, an issue that even those who aren’t at-risk are struggling with.