Making an impact in the local community is something you will not regret. Over the past two years, I have met many people through a local mission or community outreach program who have gotten involved in Johnson City, and they always come out saying how much it changed their life.

One program that gives students an opportunity to feel involved is called Rise Up. Rise Up is a local after-school program that best serves at-risk kids in Johnson City. They have a range of ages from kindergarten to high school. Mentoring is as simple as getting paired up with a child from second grade and up to meeting with them once a week to spend time and get to know them.

If you are passionate about kids and want a commitment not too stressful, Rise Up’s mentoring program is a great thing for the child as well as the mentor. By getting involved in a program like Rise Up, it’s not so much the conscious act of service making a difference in your own heart, but how thankful and excited the kid is from you pouring into them.

Coalition For Kids, LXI and Dawn of Hope are just a few specific programs in this direct area where people can connect with others, not only with young kids but also with high school students and other adults. There is so much opportunity in this area for growth, especially involving the positive development of young minds today, and it is amazing to me that such a crucial step in their development can look as simple as taking them to a park or out to eat once week.

Getting involved in a local program is not as big of a commitment as many people portray it to be. If you are feeling the need to get more involved, go find something to do locally, whether it be an after-school program or anything else you might be interested in and passionate to find more.