ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – RISE 540 is a free program out of the Kirk Family YMCA for 12 to 15- year- olds that wellness director Andrea Burney says gets kids out of the house and into new experiences.
“Pretty much the thought process of it was we needed something in the community for an age group that wasn’t really looked at,” said Burney.
Teens can sign up for hiking, snow tubing, and cooking nights.
“The kids say they really look forward to something on their schedule that they know they’re gonna do every month,” she said.
The group is funded partially by the YMCA and partially by grants through Roanoke’s Gun Violence Prevention Program. Vice Mayor Trish White-Boyd happens to be Burney’s stepmother and says RISE 540 is exactly what the city needs to keep kids safely out of trouble.
“Important to me is getting our kids off the street because of the gun violence, crime, and everything else going on we want something positive,” she said.
She adds it also gets them off the computer and keeps them active. Kids like Jaida and Jaimir Robinson agree.
“It’s fun and it gets me out the house,” said Jaida. “It’s a really fun program you should really join and come to the YMCA.”
Burney adds kids don’t have to be members of the YMCA to participate in this program.