By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: January 1, 2019 | 3:45 p.m
Surry County Youth Services Citizen Board members recently came up with a list of New Years’ Wishes and plans following a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis with an eye toward finding ways to continue to improve the board’s effectiveness as an advocacy group for local youth. The board’s stated ongoing goals are to look for needs and gaps in services for youth and families, monitor programs and services to determine their impact on youth, act in an advisory capacity to the county’s Board of Supervisors, Town Councils and Department of Youth and Family Resources (DYFR), and seek ways to increase coordination and communication between youth organizations while working to engage the community for the benefit of local youth and establish ever more youth-oriented programs and services. During the discussion, members shared their belief in and wishes for Surry County with an eye toward coming up with some specific aims toward improving youth-related situations as they move forward.
Board Chair George Fauntleroy credited county leaders for their continuous support of Surry youth, saying “There are a lot of positive things being done in the county, by and for our young people. I wholeheartedly believe that it takes a village, schools, parents and community to make a difference.” Board co-chair Rev. James D. Charity, Jr. described Surry as reminding him of the Garden of Eden – a place ”waiting to be exposed for the world to see” and said that he is very glad to call Surry home.
Vanessa Scott, expressed elation at being on the board because of the many services offered to the youth and families in the community. Kenneth Bell said that he wants to see continued cooperation amongst county agencies to help enhance the quality life of all citizens and the county.
High School board member Bre’cha Byrd said she is grateful for the opportunity and will do everything in her power to improve her hometown-Surry County, VA. , describing Surry as “Something Special” and sharing that she “loves the country woods.” Amiya Shears, newest member of the board and representative of Luther P orter Jackson Middle School said, “Even though we are a small town, we might be one of the strongest.”
SURRY COUNTY YOUTH SERVICES CITIZEN BOARD – Standing-L to R: George Fauntleroy, Sr. – Chair, Surry District; Anthony Washington, Sr. – Claremont District; Kenneth Bell – Dendron District; Breyon Pierce – At-Large; James Charity, Jr. -Co-Chair, Bacons Castle; Seated- L to R Brécha Byrd-Surry County High Representative
Vanessa Scott-Carsley District; Amiya Shears-L. P. Jackson Middle School Representative
Not pictured-Destiny Jones At-Large
Breyon Pierce contributed, “My wish is to use my platform on the Youth Services Citizen Board to collaborate with community leaders to create more opportunities for the youth in the community.” He added that all members wish for high speed internet for the county, because that is something everyone in the county could benefit from in their homes, schools, and community at-large.
As a result of the SWOT analysis findings and discussions, the board settled upon several priority goals for the upcoming year. The first was to gain greater insight of current needs of the community and learn more about available resources to equip the board to more effectively raise awareness of important issues impacting youth. The second was to increase opportunities for young people by expanding and improving partnerships with other organizations. And the third was to improve communications between various age groups, thus providing key stakeholders with an update of the needs of county youth and families.
One step toward meeting these goals is a planned February youth and families “Community Needs Forum” to include a panel discussion among local citizens between the ages of 12 and 30 to share their wishes for Surry County. Another is to recognize youth for their accomplishments at an annual community wide recognition program. To that end, they plan to co-sponsor the first in April of 2019 aimed at honoring youth, young adults and organizations for outstanding volunteer services. They also renewed their determination to continue to welcome the public to come and share ideas on how to improve services for county youth.