Wharton organization to hold teen event addressing major issues

Local Wharton organization will hold a special program for teens to address issues like sexual assault, domestic violence, black on black crime, violence in schools, bullying, alcohol abuse and how to respect and react to a police officer when pulled over.

Just Do It Now is a 501(c)3 organization serving Wharton and adjoining counties. It was founded by Greg Baines in June of 2000. His personal experiences in the at-risk community enlightened him to the true needs of those individuals who continue to slip through the cracks of society. His understanding of the needs of these individuals propelled him into a personal campaign of “loving the community back to health”.

Fight the Flight program founder, Krista Norris, has done previous programs with Just Do It Now and wanted to hold an outreach event specifically for for teens, according to Just Do It Now Program Director, Desiree Matthews. Norris planned the upcoming event, Teen Scene: The Connection.

“From children committing suicide and teens on drugs, we felt this program was needed for the community,” Matthews said.

The event will include guest speakers, Lisa Danae, motivational speaker; Reginald Gordon, Director of Prevention before Detention workshop and a creator of Scared Straight Texas program; and Wharton Police officer Herman Haynes.

“The officer will say what he sees in the jails and talk about the violence in jail. He’ll show the teens that is not a path they want

There will be a presentation from Prevention before Detention program and a question and answer segment.

Matthews hopes teens realize there are positive paths in life.

“We’re hoping the teens can take something positive out of the conversation. You know children are always worried about what the next person is doing,” Matthews said. “In our area teenagers and drugs have become a problem. A lot of the kids are interested in drugs. The need and want for drugs is overpowering positive things.”

Matthews says teenagers need to know violence is not the answer and hearing this from a new perspective will make a difference.

“They hear these things all the time so maybe it’ll make a difference coming from another perspective. We want them to know they’re going down the wrong path and to turn around. You don’t have to take that path, there’s another path besides drugs and alcohol,” Matthews said.

The guest speakers will discuss the issue of bullying and what it could lead to.

“Suicide rates are skyrocketing and we want to nip it in the bud before it involves one our own,” Matthews said.

The Teen Scene: The Connection event is free and open to all teens. The event will be Thursday, July 26th at Just Do It Now at 1619 Martin Luther King Blvd, Wharton, TX 77488 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Just Do It Now is granted through the Wharton County Juvenile Detention Center to help keep teenagers out of the detention center.