Ambridge Area is going on its 15th year with the non-conventional youth group club called Young Life.
Young Life is a multicultural ministry organization that meets after school and focuses on children in diverse cultural communities.
According to Regional Director Jason Smith, the organization impacts 500 to 700 young people who they have contact with on a weekly basis. The meetings and events have more than 150 people who attend.
Smith said that young life is a grassroots effort.
"It's the connection," he said. "It’s the grassroots that I know a kid, who knows a kid who gets involved."
Young Life has five official adults who are volunteer leaders and 25 adults who are not in high school and help in various ways.
Kristen Smith, volunteer leader said, “I go to the high school hang out at lunch, meet kids, and meet their friends.”
Leaders focus their attention on one high school and they know the kids by name. For example, a leader may have a breakfast with the kids and then have Bible study with them.
Any high school students can come to Young Life and junior high students can go to Wyldlife.
“It is such an awesome environment. I love what we learn. It’s all good messages. Everyone’s positive all the time,” said Katie Indovina, a senior from Ambridge who has been in the club since she was a sophomore. “It is an escape. When things are hard, you go and hangout with your Young Life friends."
Ethan Bryan, a former Young Life student from Slippery Rock High School, went to college at Robert Morris University and decided to become a leader because of the impact that he had at his high school. Bryan was a former Ambridge Young Life adult volunteer.
This past weekend, Young Life held it first informational banquet that had more than 90 adults in attendance and 60 youth.
The Rev. Rick Thornhill, pastor of New Hope Community Church, attended the banquet. He said with Young Life being non-denominational, the group has a unique way of reaching the kids that any one church can not.
Jason Smith said he hopes people walked away knowing what Young Life is and isn’t, and knowing that Young Life is for every kid.
Learn more about Young Life at BeaverCounty.YoungLife.org
Volunteer Leaders: Neil Berger, Josh Jones, Richelle Montgomery, Kristen Smith, Katie Sosa
Wyldlife Leaders: Ryan Bolea and Benden Knecht
Director: Jason Smith 724 -622-2373
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