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Crime, Law & Justice

At-Risk Youth Give Back To Community Through Holiday Meal

Melorie Begay
Amelia -lastname withheld for privacy- serves ham to a community member as part of an annual holiday dinner put on by the Martin Luther King Jr. Education Center

Lane County Youth Services held their annual community holiday dinner on Wednesday. The event was part of a culinary program that juvenile offenders can participate in.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Education Center has helped reduce youth recidivism rates by more than two thirds. The center attributes this success rate to programs like the one Amelia’s in.

She’s in 11th grade and she joined six other high schoolers in serving a free meal at the Lane County Juvenile Justice Center. Together, they prepared enough food to feed 800 people. 

“It’s nice seeing that you can do stuff for other people and I love the appreciation that we get for it,” Amelia said.

Amelia said she enjoys learning new skills and that working in the kitchen lets her calm down and de-stress. Like a lot of other students in her grade, she’s making college plans and wants to become an X-ray Technician.

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