Christopher Jones is a Crew Leader with the Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) MyCityBC program. MyCityBC is a summer program that provides disadvantaged youth with a paid work experience. The high school-aged students work on job sites, attend educational workshops and learn valuable job skills to prepare them for the work force.
Chris previously worked at Youth Builder Battle Creek and has been a case manager in substance abuse rehabilitation facilities.
A Culture of Vitality
As a crew leader during the summer program, Chris supervised the youth on the job site and assigned them tasks to complete. He also built relationships and served as a mentor to the teens.
“I’ve always had a passion to educate the youth about the negative consequences that are associated with crime, drugs and violence, but I also have a passion for them to improve their lives,” Chris said.
That passion comes from the mistakes Chris has made in his past. He talks openly about struggling with a drug addiction when he was young and how it led him to a life of crime. Chris spent 12 years in prison. During that time, he did a lot of self-reflection and knew he wanted to turn his life around. While incarcerated, he took a course to become certified as a substance abuse counselor.
Chris hasn’t let his past hold him back. Since being released from prison, he has been on a mission to help others. He wants to guide the young people in our community in the right direction.
Chris believes in meeting students where they are. He uses humor and open dialogue to relate to them and encourages them along the way. He teaches the students to work hard but to also have fun!
Keep The Momentum Going
Although the program is finished for this year, Chris would love to return to work with the MyCityBC program next summer. He would like to see the program expand so that more youth can get the chance to experience everything MyCityBC has to offer. He believes these youth are the future and that it’s important to guide them on the right path now so they can grow up to contribute positively to their community.
The Best Part
“My reward is seeing them succeed,” he said. Chris helps the students set attainable goals and is happy to be a part of creating a foundation for them to grow inside and outside of the program.
Chris was born and raised in Battle Creek. He says he loves living here and the best part of the community is the opportunities and the variety of things to do around the city. He’s excited for all the improvements coming to the downtown area.
Do you know someone who is helping to move our community forward? Learn more about how to nominate someone today. Make sure to read about our past “Get Caught” recipients like Brittany Sheehy, Alesia Walsh, and so many more!Tags: battle creek michigan, get caught, students, teacher