Preparing for tomorrow

Morgan Carr, left, Keziah Cook, center, and Taylor Engleman, right, read over the results Saturday night of a Dream Duncan Destiny Youth Leader survey they had completed previously.

John Walker/The Duncan Banner
The Duncan Banner

With the end of the school season knocking on the door, 17 Dream Duncan Destiny (3D) Youth Leaders will have a choice of compensation for their services to the community.

Saturday evening, Joy Billingsley, one of the adult coordinators for the 3D organization, handed out vouchers to the qualified youth leaders that can be redeemed for either $500 in cash or a laptop and $300 cash.

The organization was originally donated the laptops for an expected event that never occurred, so the organization decided to put them to use to supplement a shortage in funds.

As the organization has grown this year over the previous year, it has suffered some growing pains.

They originally promised that every youth leader who performed 100 hours of community service would receive $500 each as a reward.

But with greater than expected interest by the local youth combined with fundraising that earned less than expected, they came up short of the promised funds for all 17 youth.

So a compromise was reached with the use of the laptops.

“Hopefully, this will be a win-win for everyone,” Billingsley said Saturday. “Thank you for all you have done. It’s been hard and a struggle this year, but you’ve done an outstanding job. Thanks so much.”

The youth leaders were excited to receive their voucher that they will redeem for their reward.

As Taylor Engleman, one of the youth leaders, reflected on this past year, she didn’t focus on any difficulty she may have felt.

“It’s been a really good experience to serve in the community,” Engleman said. “I hope I can do it again. The events were the best part of the past year because I was able to hang out with my friends.”

Every month the organization holds a fun night for the area youth in a safe environment without the threat of alcohol or drugs.

Morgan Carr also really enjoyed this past year.

“I really liked it,” Carr said. “I worked with a lot of people. My favorite part was working at Gabriel’s House. I like working with kids.”

Junior Keziah Cook also enjoyed this past year, but is uncertain about staying involved in the next school year because of her schedule.

“It was fun,” Cook said about the past year.

Cook will be taking classes at Cameron University next fall along with her high school courses.

Part of the presentation Saturday was a review of a survey from the youth leaders at the last meeting.

The top five elements from this past year were the volunteering, the drug prevention presentation, Saturday fun nights, $500 cash award and the extra leadership sessions.

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