TAMPA, Fla. — A Bay area program is using recreation to help teach teenagers much needed life skills.
Along the way, the kids are learning new lessons and growing as people.
Cloud Nine Outdoors gets young people, often from single-parent households or inner city homes, out of their comfort zones, sets goals and then helps them achieve it. The group uses outdoor activities the teens aren't usually exposed to to bring young people togther for fun and life lessons along the way.
In addition to archery, the group also does outdoor sports like fishing, hunting, bowling and a variety of other activities.
And it's all good fun and includes mentorship.
"When I first started this, I was kind of nervous because I’m usually not around a lot of people," said Deshawn Harrell, who is participating in the program. "But as I got more into it I because more around people, it’s stress relief, just take my time and chill."
Program organizer Jovan McNeill said he sees differences in so many of the young people attending.
"I see it a lot in their school grades," Organizer Jovan McNeill said of changes in the children. "Personality, lifestyle and even with their family and friends."
The program is free and runs year round.