Teens Learn To Be A Part Of Something Bigger Than Themselves
Last updated 7/25/2018 at 2:38pm | View PDF
Early on a recent Saturday morning, when most teenagers were still in bed, a group of youth piled into vehicles for a day of picking up debris along Fountain Creek just off I-25 near Fort Carson. These participants in the TwoCor therapeutic work program were headed to the Gateway Prayer Garden.
Most of the TwoCor youth are referred to the program through the El Paso County Department of Human Services. Many were taken out of their homes and sent to foster care or group homes. Almost all have experienced significant childhood trauma-from abuse and neglect to homelessness and incarceration of a parent. TwoCor helps them heal from the devastating impact of trauma on their emotional, physiological and cognitive development, while teaching them necessary skills to become healthy and productive members of their community.
The Gateway Prayer Garden will serve as a spiritual southern gateway to the region, where an aesthetically and artistically designed physical environment will encourage visitors to pray and seek the Lord. Already TwoCor and other groups have removed several tons of debris from Fountain Creek and the surrounding 10 acres.
Although TwoCor pays the youth to help with the clean-up project, based on a scale that measures how well they stick to a productivity plan, TwoCor offers the clean-up service free of charge to Gateway.
"An opportunity like this provides teachable moments to learn about the importance of gratitude and giving back to the community. Studies show that individuals who practice gratitude regularly are more resilient to depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem and self-image," said Jim Hinkle, TwoCor Executive Director.
For Mark Spengler, Project Director for the Prayer Garden, the alliance between Gateway and TwoCor offers additional benefits. "I hope that one day in the future, these young men and women of TwoCor will come by and tell their children that their parent had a role in making this dream happen, and that they too can be part of something bigger than themselves."
For more information about TwoCor, visit their website at http://www.twocor.org or call 719-471-6916. For more information about the Gateway Prayer Garden visit their website at http://www.gatewayprayergarden.org or contact 719-574-0500.