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At-risk boys do an About Face at Rawhide

Rawhide Color Guard

With all the negative news we hear every day, you may wonder if anything positive can be done to improve the lives of young people who’ve made poor decisions. The answer is yes! In New London, Rawhide is changing the minds and hearts of thousands of at-risk boys.

The nonprofit has been devoted to working with at-risk youth since 1965 and will continue to serve the Fox Valley area with the recent support of a $7,500 grant from the Waupaca Area Community Foundation Fund for Rawhide’s About Face program.

About Face is a residential treatment program for young men ages 11-18 years old with an emphasis on behavioral change.

“Approximately 92 percent of Rawhide youth in the About Face program are court-ordered placements,” says Jessica Planer, Grants Manager at Rawhide. “Though they are placed into the About Face Service Corps, the work done in the community by these young men truly makes a difference as they learn about moral values, integrity, honor, courage, self-discipline, hard work, loyalty, and selfless service to others.”

Rawhide students learn auto repair

The intensive, challenging programs are designed to help young men build character while experiencing the satisfaction of giving back through regular community service projects.  Each student goes through a two-week rotation of attending school at Starr Academy, Rawhide’s on-campus private school, helping with community service projects, and sometimes even equine-assisted psychotherapy.

“Various projects this year have included sorting food at the Salvation Army, completing ground maintenance for the Iola Car Show, spreading new wood chips on the playgrounds at New London’s Head Start and CAP Services, and mowing new lots for future homes for Habitat for Humanity” says Planer.

Rawhide has existed to work with at-risk youth for more than 50 years. With the support of the Fox Valley community, they will be able to continue helping at-risk youth lead healthy lives for many years to come.

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