WINDSOR MILL, Md. - Herb Hoelter is co-founder of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives.
It's a program that provides education in four areas for youth. With curriculums that meet the needs of at-risk middle to high school students, intellectually disabled adults, residential programs for youth and adults and those that are going through the criminal justice system.
The teaching is unique but effective.
"We've always taken the philosophy that there but for the grace of god go I and they are one of ours,” Hoetler said.
Husband, grandfather and avid sports fan, Hoetler’s programs received national recognition for helping people acclimate and re-acclimate into society.
One program teaches certified automotive service, a program that has helped 10th grader Charles Sheffield, who struggled in public school. But Youth in Transition in Windsor Mill helped him put his potential in sight.
“I couldn't focus in school,” Sheffield said. “I can focus a little better now just needed help."
Horticulture is taught on an actual farm that includes greenhouses. Students can learn the art of farming from seeding to food preparation. They are also taught skills in environments similar to what they see everyday life, including learning how to be a barber.
“I'm getting my license for being in class and learning how to cut hair, at my regular school we didn't have trades like this,” barber student Akeem Cox said.
Added Michelle Kilkenny, the school’s assistant director of education: "They’re amazing,” she said of the student. “Each one is individual, each one has so much to offer and to give but a lot of people just give up on them.”
And in a day and age where it seems like children are becoming more defiant to the educational structure, National Center on Institutions and Alternatives has somehow found a way to reach them.
"I wouldn't want to go back to being a kid these days it's a tough environment out there, but I think at the end of the day it all goes back to do you care about me and do you care if I succeed or not? And we do,” Hoelter said.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Buy Local Buy Maryland
Buy Local, Buy Maryland is a customer savings club that features locally owned businesses. Card holders can save money by shopping in the stores featured in this exclusive program!
Inside the Baltimore Police Department's watch center is the hub from which city police can view hundreds of crime cameras, pull up street corners and follow suspicious activity sometimes in progress; fancy hardware increasingly complimenting witty software.
ABC2 Investigators uncover Baltimore Police officers making huge amounts of overtime as the agency downplays the total amount spent on OT.
Scripps reviewed dozens of lawsuits and spoke with former insiders who all allege the companies that handle Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s asbestos and pollution claims, wrongfully delay or deny payment to cancer victims...
More Baltimore County News
The official start to winter is still about two weeks away.
Still, that hasn’t stopped Mother Nature from bringing a healthy dose of winter weather to the Baltimore area over the last three days.