Please join the Chamber in congratulating Teen Challenge of the Four States as our April Employer of the Month. The Teen Challenge Center outside Neosho currently employs 11 people. When asked to say a few words about why Teen Challenge was chosen to receive the award, Sy Werner said; “if you look back a few years before Teen Challenge was there this was an open field, there were no jobs here at all.—We try to recognize different organizations and what they do for the community, and in this case we are doing double duty in honoring Teen Challenge as the Employer of the Month and an Expansion Award.”
The Neosho TC center has twenty residents, all of whom are there of their own volition. Residents find out about Teen Challenge from Family members, Churches, the Internet and the Court System. Residents at Teen Challenge are not allowed to watch television during the week. The 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month, they are allowed family visits. Teen challenge residents are not allowed to leave the campus without a staff chaperone. Jim Lowans explained the nature of these chaperoned outings by saying “Our students do go out into the neighborhoods and work for people in the afternoons, so if people have jobs they want done around the house, any type of job, we can usually have the guys come in. They are in turn supporting the ministry by doing that.” Although residents are “detoxed” before they enter the Teen Challenge program, they have joined forces with the Talkington Foundation to offer 12 step and Al-anon services with a strong focus on Christian faith.
Jim Lowans is also the Teen Challenge Director for the Asian Pacific Region. When asked what he loves most about Neosho, Jim said; “We’re so excited to be a part of the city of Neosho, we enjoy the friendships we’ve made and the people who have welcomed us into the city, and we really just feel a part of the city.”
More about Teen Challenge:
There are over 250 Teen Challenge Centers in the US, and about 800 more outside of the US. There are seven Teen Challenge Centers in Missouri alone, with two in St. Louis; a men’s center and a women’s center, a center in Cape Girardeau and a ladies center in Ozark, Mo. They also offer services to those under the age of eighteen with an adolescent boy’s center in Branson, and an adolescent girl’s center in Kansas City. Teen Challenge is also in the process of starting Mother’s and children’s center in the Colombia/Jefferson City area. Mother’s would come in to the center and when they are ready, their children can join them. The Teen Challenge general headquarters are also located in Ozark, Mo.
Upon completion of the program (60% of entrants to the program have completed the program) Teen Challenge has an 86% success rate for their residents quitting drugs and alcohol, as well as living constructive fulfilled lives.