“If I ask them, you know where do you see yourself in five years? They typically say, ‘well Miss Julie, I’ll either be dead or in prison,’” said Julie Paul, the president of Forgotten Youth Ministries.
What she’s talking about is the outlook of many adolescents throughout Mid-Michigan who are struggling in juvenile detention centers. Paul said that’s the reason she founded Forgotten Youth Ministries.
It is an organization dedicated to transforming the lives of troubled youth in Saginaw and Bay Counties.
“We offer programs to the kids in detention. We have a one-on-one mentoring program. We have church service on Sunday and we bring in guest speakers on Tuesday nights,” Paul said.
She said these resources are vital to the success of these kids, as well as the fundraisers to help keep it going. That’s why they held their annual Steps to Freedom family fun 5K at the Saginaw Township Soccer Complex on Saturday.
“We just wanted to come out here and let people know that we’re here to help these kids grow spiritually and let people know that we do care about them,” said Bill Lucio, a member of the board of directors for the organization.
He also said they want kinds to know there is always hope for a better tomorrow.
“It’s very important for me to be here and give back and let them know that my life has changed and if I can encourage them and let them know there are good people out here willing to work alongside them, then I’m all for it," Lucio said.