I Pour Life’s positive youth development program, LifeStrengths, began in Springfield, Missouri, in 2016. Throughout the last year, I Pour Life has expanded this program to serve youth in 41 counties in Missouri.
One of the places I Pour Life now serves is the home of the University of Missouri, Columbia!
It is Missouri’s fourth most-populous city, with an estimated population of 119,108 in 2015. 27.3% of the population is between the ages of 18 and 24. With has a high population of young adults, it is a great place to grow our LifeStrengths program.
Caroline Wilson is an I Pour Life LifeCoach that serves youth in Columbia. She has been a LifeCoach for seven months and has been able to get to know the specific needs of the youth in the area.
“My goal for my youth is to help them achieve practical goals and help them feel empowered. Growing up, I wanted to be as independent as soon as possible. Doing things on my own improved my self-esteem, which I want for my girls.”
She says the needs of at-risk youth in Columbia are hard to narrow down. “Many youths do not have access to receiving their permit or license, and people don’t take that seriously. Our youth need that to be successful.”
Caroline meets with her youth at least once a week. She calls them on zoom or meets them in person and checks in on them throughout the week. She also is available to assist them in meeting their needs, like getting their permit or license.
She says that “community is a huge need.”
“I wish my girls had more community. When I lived in Colorado, my parents had a church, and in the church, we had a fun area for us to hang out. Local teenagers were able to use the space.”
Caroline is working towards creating opportunities for I Pour Life youth in Columbia, Missouri. She has made connections with community members to be able to host events for youth. In March, Caroline organized an in-person meeting for the Social Capital Club alongside LifeCoach, Taylor Sidebottom.
.“My church, The Crossing, is involved in the community, so I reached out to them. I’d love for more people in the community to know how to get involved with I Pour Life. And I would love to see a second I Pour Life location in Columbia, a safe place or house for youth to gather and hang out to feel loved and supported by their community.
I love what I Pour Life is doing. Youth need support from the community and not just in handouts but in empowerment. We give them only what they need and then encourage them to go out and do things independently. I am excited to see what happens!”
I Pour Life can expand and support LifeCoaches because of incredible donors like you. If you would like to be a part of growing I Pour Life and creating opportunities for youth in Columbia, consider giving to our organization here.