CLYS believes in exposing the youth to new experiences. The family atmosphere at CLYS where the youth share in the home care and the celebrations is very new to most. They are treated with a meal out at the location of their choice for their birthdays, and every holiday is a call for celebration. Several youth said that they had never had a Christmas tree, let alone heaps of presents and a special dinner.
Every new community opportunity allows the youth to live up to CLYS expectations and practice social skills. The more they see and experience, the more they want to be a part of the successful life that allows them these privileges. Many of our youth have never been outside the city, let alone gone on a vacation. While the Cardwells kept hearing how crazy they were to take a bus load of at-risk youth out of state, the kids rose to the level of expectation the Cardwells and the CLYS staff held for them. Risk-taking – calculated and planned risk-taking – pays big.
In the past year, the CLYS youth have experienced:
• A trip to Gatlinburg
• Season tickets to King’s Island
• Dave and Busters
• Great Wolf Lodge for a mid-winter celebration
• Several concerts
• MLK celebration events
• Regular trips to the YMCA
• Community service opportunities
We INVEST in them – they respond.
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