KentuckianaWorks looking for adult mentors for Right Turn progra - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KentuckianaWorks looking for adult mentors for Right Turn program

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Right Turn mentor Mark Janke with one of his mentees. Right Turn mentor Mark Janke with one of his mentees.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's never too late to turn things around, even if you've been in trouble with the law.

That's the motto behind KentuckianaWorks' new program, which is looking for men and women to be mentors who will help local youth make the right turn. 

Right Turn, as it is called, is part of a $2 million federal grant. The mentors are needed to work with about 500 youth who have either been in the court system or identified as at risk.

"I am a father, husband," Mentor Mark Janke said. "There's always something to do."

Janke is also senior pastor at Franklin Street Church.

"I raised my own kids and I enjoyed it," Janke said. "So I feel like I have some things to offer in terms of the monitorship program."

Janke recently completed training and is one of several dozen men and women serving as mentors in Kentuckiana Works' Right Turn program, but more are needed.

"We are looking for mentors that can make a one year commitment, an hour a week to help a youth -- male or female youth -- get on the right track," Cindy Read said.

Mayor Greg Fischer and Congressman John Yarmuth recently helped launch the federally funded program, which includes several hundred youth who have spent time in the Hall of Justice or been identified as at risk or in the danger zone -- especially during the long summer break.

"Some are still in school, some are out of school," Read said, "but the common thread is that they want to turn their lives around."

It has already been a violent summer in Metro Louisville. This week, three teenagers were arrested and accused of nearly beating a homeless man to death. Monday night, four people were shot -- including a nine-year-old -- in two separate shootings.

"When we hear stories about shootings, especially when they involved young people, we know we have got to provide more opportunities," Read said.

"I've not pressed too much into that, I figure if he wants to tell me that's his business," Janke said.

Mark Janke doesn't know and doesn't really care how or why his mentee had a brush with the law. He says they focus on the future, doing homework and visiting local attractions.

"I helped him with parallel parking, he wanted some lessons on that and he did pass his drivers test," Janke added.

The youth will also be doing a number of service projects in the city.

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