BURKE COUNTY. (WRDW/WAGT) – It’s officially summer, and for many students, that’s a lot of free time.
That’s why the Burke County Sheriff‘s Office steps in to give students something to do and help them build a relationship with their community.
William Joyner is a 7th grader at Burke County Middle School who has big dreams once he turns 18.
“I want to be an architect, but I really want to go to the NFL,” he said.
He is one of 14 boys who attended the Burke County Teen Seminar for kids who struggle to stay on the positive path.
“I think I was here because my parents wanted to teach me which direction to take, which path to take,” Joyner said.
Sergeant Anthony Bennerman of the Burke County Sheriff’s Office says he offers different programs throughout the summer to fight crime.
“We’ve seen a lot of young men making decisions and choices that they shouldn’t be making, and usually in the summer that’s when it increases,” he said.
The sheriff’s office began youth seminars in January with tours of the detention center and guest speakers come to mentor their classes. This was Burke County’s 4th seminar, and they will have a girls’ seminar in July.
“It’s definitely an eye-opening experience, and it’s something they should see because a lot of kids aren’t exposed,” Bennerman said.
Bennerman says it’s their mission to fight crime, but also to help teens fight peer pressure so they don’t become a statistic.
“We don’t want them to think we’re just trying to stop them. We want them to know that we are there for them. We are their friends,” he said.
Copyright 2022 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.