YSB is looking to add additional youth to its roster for services. From left, are Youth Service Board Executive Director Julie Hollar, Alex Upton, Lily King and intern Haley Chambers.
Daily Record photo by Shannon West
Youth Service Bureau seeks to add students to it roster
The Youth Service Bureau– a local after school and summer program that provides free opportunities for youth from ages 11 to 17–is hoping to recruit additional kids for the program.
According to the website, the Youth Service Bureau was established in 1975 and provides many benefits to those that enter its doors, including the opportunity to volunteer, mentoring and tutoring from TXST students, a safe place to socialize and build friendships, recreational activities that promote mental and physical wellbeing and workshops that discuss important topics such as violence prevention, alcohol/drug awareness, character education and personal health and well-being.
YSB Executive Director Julie Hollar said the program teaches kids skills and information that are needed to navigate their world.
“We teach them about the drugs that are happening or how to be safe or what is a healthy relationship,” Hollar said. “Then we do volunteer work in the community. We go to the Discovery Center and we’re going to start going to the nursing home again.”
Hollar stressed that the most important resource that is cultivated at the YSB is social skills.
“A lot of kids have been on the computers for years, so they have a really hard time with their social skills,” Hollar said. “Those are the skills that will get them a job. People are looking for people that have good communication skills and can carry on a conversation and aren’t afraid to introduce themselves to new people.”
Hollar said there are currently two kids in the program and one is expected to join soon, but they would love new peers to join. Anyone that is in the correct age range can join whether their daytime education is taught from home, public or private institutions. The school year schedule is weekdays 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and during the summer it is from 12 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
YSB programming isn’t all work and no play. The group regularly takes fun outings. Monday night’s activity with the YSB crew was a trip to Santa’s Ranch, located at 9561 I-35 in New Braunfels, which was made possible by the donation given by Splash Coworking. The ranch is a drive-through Christmas light show, which according to their website, has over 2.5 million lights.
“I’m just trying to expose them to things they’ve never been exposed to before,” Hollar said. “So they know what’s out there in the real world.”
Alex Upton and Lily King are currently in the program and said that they both really enjoy it.
“It [YSB] gives me something to do after school instead of just being home,” Upton said. “It also takes me around to see more of San Marcos, which I don’t get to do a lot. And it helps me learn new things.”
For King, the best part of the program is the opportunity to meet new people and the ability to visit places around town.
“When your parents are busy, you can actually go and see stuff instead of staying home and doing homework,” King said.
Hollar said that the YSB accepts donations year round, which can be given in person or on the website at paypal.com/ donate/?hosted_button_ id=6BQDUX9E2WC8A.