The unrelenting summer heat is letting up and a chill is in the morning air. That could mean only one thing here in Shreveport -- The Revel is almost here! Every year people from around Louisiana and surrounding states flock to Shreveport for its largest annual event. The Revel combines the best regional foods, music, culture, and beautiful early fall weather over an eight day span in the beginning of October.
This year BeauxJax is super excited to be a part of the festival. We have teamed with our friends at Volunteers of Youth Justice to offer up our Bourbon Street Chicken Over Rice, Andouille & Red Beans Over Rice, and Bread Pudding With Rum Flavored Icing. It has been our pleasure to work with such a great organization throughout 2017.
WHO IS VYJ
In 1981, the Juvenile Court of Caddo Parish was overloaded with a significant number of youths. Initially arrested for minor offenses, they were “falling through the cracks”, only to later become repeat offenders.
During that same time period, several women from Shreveport’s First Presbyterian Church were attending a women’s conference in Montreat, North Carolina. Jim Watkins, a Presbyterian minister, taught a seminar, “Behind Closed Doors – A Workshop on Criminal and Juvenile Justice”, highlighting a program that was established in Atlanta, Georgia to address similar youth challenges.
Carolyn W. Beaird, Marjorie B. Winkler, Lea Johnson and Babs Roggero enthusiastically returned to Shreveport to share with other women from their Church, their pastor, Dr. John Rogers, and Suzette Kincer-Haley, the Church’s Director of Christian education, their hopes of establishing such a program in Shreveport.
These forward-thinking individuals recognized the need to break this destructive cycle by assisting the Juvenile Court, through the use of volunteers, to divert first-time offenders. By providing these youths with an opportunity to develop a sense of responsibility for their actions and teaching new positive behaviors, they were given a chance to begin again. Their joint efforts became the catalyst that launched Volunteers for Youth Justice (VYJ), formerly known as the Shreveport Juvenile Justice Program.
VYJ has since built on the foundation of diversion programming to include advocacy, life-skill training and mentoring experiences for abused, neglected and at-risk children throughout Northwest Louisiana. Today, VYJ has three primary programs: CASA(Court Appointed Special Advocates), YOUTH PROGRAMS: GEMS & GENTS Mentoring, JUMPSTART, Teen Court and Conflict Resolution, COURT PROGRAMS: FINS (Families in Need of Services), Truancy FINS and TASC.
WHAT DOES YOUR PURCHASE AT THE REVEL SUPPORT
A large portion of each purchase from the BeauxJax/VYJ Tent at the Revel will directly fund one of the many programs that help support at risk youth right here in Shreveport-Bossier and surrounding areas. We thank you for your support in advance and hope you have a great Revel.
LEARN MORE ABOUT VYJ
Visit www.vyjla.org to learn more. Find out how to volunteer or donate to a wonderful organization.