Saving Teens through Interactive C.O.R.E. Program

Preventive program engages teenagers about risk-taking choices
Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 11:24 AM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - South Dakota Community Foundation has teamed up with the Community Organized Resources for Educating our Youth.

Freshman Impact, also known as, C.O.R.E., helps advocate and promote quality programs for our at-risk high school freshmen. It was founded in South Dakota and dedicated to saving teens lives through interactive preventative education. The program recently was awarded a $10,000 grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation to be disbursed for one year.

“For 16 plus years, C.O.R.E. has been involved in the community and helping teens find new approaches and improved coping skills as they navigate through high school,” says Rick McPherson, Executive Director of C.O.R.E.

The South Dakota Community Foundation is a state-wide organization that works with non-profits, donors and community leaders to strengthen philanthropy and human welfare in South Dakota. SDCF has supported CORE’s Freshman Impact for a number of years and will provide financial assistance for their 2022-2023 programming which will include 12 scheduled programs.

C.O.R.E. has teamed up with many South Dakota communities and their local resources to teach SD freshman high school teens the dangers of distracted/impaired driving, and other risk-taking choices in their lives such as: teen suicide, human trafficking, social media bullying, teen violence, domestic violence, and other at risk behavior. A big up tic has been seen since the beginning of the pandemic due to more time being spent at home and on social media.

“Kids seem to have more time on their hands and opportunity to participate in at-risk activity.”, says McPherson. “Therefore, a major demand for our programs has been seen this past year. Our mission is simply to save teen lives through interactive preventative education and our goal is to be an innovative leader in preventative youth safety through educating students in a highly interactive, hands-on approach by applying the ‘Cone of learning scale technique” as a measuring tool to educate students in our program”.

“Students are CORE’s focus and seek to find ways to engage teenagers and share awareness of the importance of smart decision making. McPherson says, “C.O.R.E. does not expect to turn every teenage student from risk taking behaviors, but we do expect to give them knowledgeable educated facts to help them make good, educated choices when faced with a risk-taking issue that demand a choice, sometimes a life-or-death choice. Every year we hear of students (because of what they learned at a Freshman Impact Program) lives that have been turned around a good choice made,” says McPherson. .

Volunteers are very important to CORE’s programming, serving as role models for the teenagers. For each Freshman Impact session, “there are 85-120 volunteer positions”, McPherson says, “they are looking to fill to help carry out the curriculum”.

To find more information about C.O.R.E. or to volunteer please click on the link above.

C.O.R.E. has partnerships with the following organizations; Judicial Courts, Volunteer Fire Departments, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, City and County Governments, States Attorneys, Child Protection, Ellsworth Air Force Base, Ambulance Departments, Custer State Park, Badlands National Park, and the Crazy Horse Foundation.