Life Decisions
     Life Decisions was birthed out of the need for what we believe are essential pillars for at-risk and justice-involved youth to be set up for success, to grow into healthy adulthood, and become productive members who give back, serve, and lead within our community.
     The 6 pillars of Life Decisions are safe and stable housing, self-care, service, work, leadership, and an adult internship. Our focus is helping at-risk youth, ages 15-23, to get back on track, stay out of trouble, and reach their God-given potential. Without support in each of these areas, youth are at-risk of not entering into healthy adulthood.
     No one person or organization could ever do enough alone to truly meet the depth of their need, but a tribe of mentors can. Life Decisions is committed to creating opportunities and equipping people for Relational Mentoring Activities, through collaboration with like-minded partners in the community. We are building a Tribe of Mentors that - together - will grow into a community of Life-on-life relationships bringing restoration to Rockford.
     Our proven Relational Engagement Model was developed by our mentor and technical advisor, Scott Larson, founder of Straight Ahead Ministries, and has served more than 75,000 justice-involved youth. With a unique blending of authentic relationships and clinical best practices, Life Decisions provides the intensive support, structure, and accountability that at-risk youth need in order to sustain lasting change.
     Jake Rogers' ability to spot potential and pull it out of a young person who's been overlooked and undervalued began in high school at Outdoor Outreach Camp. This is a week-long day camp, targeting at-risk youth in the Stateline area, held in Rockton, at Williams Tree Farm. Today, he is bringing the next generation of leaders out to serve at camp, giving them the opportunity to be seen, known, valued, and inspired like he was 20 years ago.
     Jake has a BA in Psychology with a concentration in counseling from Trinity University in Deerfield, Illinois. He's completed several master-level courses, received two certificates from CCEF (Christian Counseling and Education Foundation), and is a licensed CADC (Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor).
     He has work experience as a Detention Officer at the Winnebago County Juvenile Detention Center, in a transition home for adults with substance use disorders, and as the Juvenile Justice Ministry (JJM) Director with Stateline Youth for Christ (YFC). Jake developed JJM's Next-Steps Aftercare Program to be a continuation of services provided to the juveniles inside of the facility. In October of 2021, one of Jake's mentees, whom he had met in the detention center a few years prior, launched Life Decisions.
     Raheem Swift is another mentee who's been a part of Life Decisions from very early on and has recently joined our LD staff. Together, we will be taking you on a journey through the first year of Life Decisions, presenting our summary book with you, and sharing opportunities for you to Join The Tribe.
     This will be an interesting and informative presentation about a new program in our area.  It will be an excellent opportunity to bring a guest or prospective member to join us in person at Memorial Hall or via Zoom.  Mary Ann Norwood will introduce our presenter and act as Rotary Host.