YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – Volunteers are helping kids and teens in local schools who may have been acting out, skipping classes, or have dropping grades.
April Collier, a restaurant owner, and Dr. Johnny Vega, a motivational speaker, are spending time in McKinley Middle School doing what they do best: cooking and good conversation.
“It’s eye-opening. Some of the trauma these kids are going through at such a young age is devastating,” Vega said.
It’s healing through talking. Vega said the students don’t always have someone to listen to them.
“My cousin got killed. It was about 2015, he got into a fight in the living room. He came back and someone shot him. It was traumatizing,” eighth-grader Ronald Crews said.
“When I told them my deepest regrets, they didn’t laugh about it, he understood,” Carlos Cruz said.
In the classes, the students say they feel comfortable and are willing to open up about issues they’re facing.
“It actually makes me feel good because nobody asks me those types of questions,” Crews said. “I regret skipping classes.”
The classes are held twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday, for two hours.
Vega and Collier will visit eight schools throughout the year.