Extension's Youth and Families with Promise was just what Sharilee Guest was looking for.
"As a single mother or four children just coming out of a divorce I wanted my boys to have a mentor who was a positive male role model," Guest says. "Extension trains mentors and matches them with kids in the community. It is also great to have someone to help my children out with homework or take them to a basketball game."
Guest is herself a Vista Volunteer and chair of the Interagency Council in Cache County, so she has a lot of experience with intervention programs.
What makes YFP different from other programs such as Big Brothers and Sisters is that it works with the entire families rather than just with the children, she explains. At least once a month there are Family Night Out activities that include the parents and the children. This allows parents to get together and share problems and successes. These Family Night Out activities usually focus on a learning or service theme.
"The amount of effort and expertise that goes into YFP is tremendous," Guest says. "The mentors they have matched with my children have all been a great fit."
Guest says she meets a lot of people through her work with Vista and often refers them to YFP and other Extension programs.
The "Take Charge of Your Money" program has been another of the valuable programs Extension offers, she says.
"The skills I picked up in that class helped me develop saving habits that enabled me to deal with financial difficulties when my child support stopped coming in."
For more on Cache County visit http://extension.usu.edu/VicePres/usu2you
/allcounties/cache.pdf, or to to find out more about Extension in other counties go to http://extension.usu.edu/VicePres/usu2you/.