Life Skills Program Held in Zanesville

Local News

ZANESVILLE, Ohio-Jennifer Hastings-Todd has a program in Zanesville aimed to help troubled teenagers. 

The New Life Thrift and Skills Center is one half life skill workshop and one half thrift store. Troubled students are recruited from the Juvenile Detention Center and given jobs in the thrift store and taught life skills on Wednesday evenings. 

“We work with teens between the ages of fourteen and seventeen who are into a little bit of mischief or who just need to learn life skills. They come and work the thrift store as part of their programming, and then they participate in life skills classes for independent living, before we actually place them in jobs in the community,” Hastings-Todd said.

Participants in the program are paid a stipend from the profits of the thrift stores. Hastings-Todd hopes to break the cycles of poverty and crime these children have found themselves stuck in. 

“It’s important to support the youth that are up and coming, especially with the things they’re up against today. It’s not 1940, it’s not 1950, things are a lot different. Kids are faced with a lot of different issues that we just weren’t faced with. So, if we can give them that leg up or give them that hand up or some self confidence, that they won’t fall back into patterns of behavior,” Hastings-Todd continued.

Hastings-Todd says the program has been in place since July of 2019 and has seen immense success so far. Stores are located on Maysville Pike and Marietta Street.