Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Courtney Werner

Document Type


Event Date



Childhood and adolescence stand out as the most pivotal times of development and growth. During these years, we begin to develop as individuals and our beliefs begin to take shape. For many children, these years are racked with suffering and turmoil and unfortunately many children end up walking down paths that lead to life-altering consequences. This research project addresses atrisk youth in the greater Holland area and the various services such as housing, reintegration, and mentoring that are provided by local organizations. Looking at six major categories that are often associated with at-risk youth—abuse and neglect, delinquency, homelessness, substance and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, and truancy—we researched the organizations, via individual interviews with organization leaders, associated with each category and then matched a specific organization to each of these. We examined the reasons that the founders created these organizations and why they chose to focus on a particular problem in the community. We aimed to find out whether these organizations adequately served the issues facing at-risk youth, and if not, find where these gaps exist. This project culminates in a digital collection of narratives from the people involved in each organization. The narratives displayed on this website present our research in a readily available format for community members to access. This project serves as a base platform for further research concerning the state of at-risk youth in Holland.