The holiday season is a time of enjoying our friends and family and giving to others. While we face challenges and disappointments as we navigate the crazy waters of this journey called life, it is invigorating to focus a season of our life on helping others and experiencing the joy and hope that it brings. On such a note, I am devoting this month’s article to share an uplifting story about how an organization quite literally helps at risk youth navigate these crazy waters of life.
The organization is called Sailfuture. It was founded by Michael Long, a college student and gubernatorial-appointee to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice's (DJJ) Board of Directors. Long spent time visiting juvenile detention centers in Florida and saw a problem—simply “warehousing,” youth and teens in prisons was not working and over 65% percent of these children quickly returned as repeat offenders. Like many who advocate for change even when it may seem unpopular, Long could not sit around and let these trends continue. He explains in a quite moving way: “we knew too much to do nothing.”
Kathryn Boortz has a passion for working with youth and their families. She is the founder of Boortz Law, a law firm that focuses on juvenile defense.