LITTLE ROCK, Ark – A local youth program is looking to expand its services to help more teenagers say goodbye to violence.
Carter’s Crew is working on a new youth mentorship program targeting those at-risk youth who either may be involved in gangs and violence or headed that direction.
“Mindfulness activities and yoga, meditation, even journal writing. Those have all been super important to my journey dealing with my anger and how to manage it,” Amber Govan said.
With each breath in and out, Amber Govan shares a piece of her past. As a teenager, Govan made some wrong decisions and found herself on a dark path.
“I did a lot of illegal activities, experienced violence, homelessness, and other things,” Govan said.
At just 19, Govan said she was robbed at gunpoint and left with nothing.
“If it were not for people in the community who supported me, I would still be a menace to society,” Govan said.
Govan was given a mentor who helped show her the light at the end of the tunnel. Now as an adult with her own kids, she’s repaying the favor.
“Sometimes that’s all kids need, is a little extra support,” Govan said.
A building on W. 12th is home to Carter’s Crew. Named after her son, it’s a space where Govan and her team help at risk teenagers on a path to success, teaching anger management, life planning, and goals.
“It’s important for the kids to have someone who sees that potential in them that they might not see in themselves at the moment of going through a crisis,” Govan said.
Right now, the team is working on a new mentorship program with the juvenile court system, pairing teenagers coming out of the system with someone they can look up to.
“We all needed somebody to talk to or somebody to get advice from or somebody to help us navigate life,” Outreach Director for Carter’s Crew Lahairoi Collins explained.
The team said it’s about breaking the cycle and showing kids there is another way to a brighter future.