Why we do it?
Because this can be life and death.
Did you know?
Between 2008 and 2010, in the state of New York alone:
- 1,582 young people died from unintentional injury
- 856 young people were murdered
- 533 killed themselves
These kids, aged between 10 and 24 years old, are the audience that Grace Racing is after. These are the kids that we’re here for. To make a difference in their lives.
If we succeed, it means life for these kids. Life that results in productive adulthood, responsible citizenship and, hopefully growing up to make a difference in someone else’s life. This is our success.
Grace Racing Ministries is a program that “is a ministry for youth, that strives to provide those who may not otherwise get a chance the opportunity to participate in the sport and community of motocross riding and racing.”
No matter where any of us live, “at risk” youth affect every one of us in one way or another. No community – urban or rural – is spared its share of troubled youth. These kids, and their communities, suffer the consequences of destructive behaviors. According to national statistics, these kids are involved in:
- 63% of youth suicides
- 90% of youth runaways
- 85% of children exhibiting behavioral disorders
- 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger
- 71% of high school dropouts
These kids generally don’t have anyone in their lives to bring a positive impact. Statistics involving these kids are, simply put, staggering. Their eventual involvement in the judicial system alone effects each of us – no matter where we live.
At Grace Racing Ministries, we believe that these statistics are just plain sad. Especially considering that this is happening in the world’s richest nation. Unfortunately, the startling facts do not stop there:
- At-risk kids are over 6 times more likely to become teenage mothers
- 33 times more likely to be seriously abused (to the point of needing medical attention)
- 73 times more likely to be killed
These are simply the most scary statistics of all. Professionals and lay-people alike realize that something needs to be done to combat this rising problem.
The question is what to do?
Programs for youth seem to be everywhere: from after-school programs for promising students, to church youth groups, to town recreation programs. Many of the kids involved in the existing programs would likely grow to be well rounded adults without the programs. They have stable, dedicated families that are involved in their lives and would get them involved in activities in other ways. All of these programs have substantial budgets involved. Additionally, if the programs are avoiding or not reaching the kids that desperately need it – what good is the program doing for them?
For most at risk kids, these existing programs hold little, if any, appeal. The other problem is that many of these program leaders and volunteers do not want the “trouble” that at risk youth can bring into a program. These kids usually have nearly nonexistent parents, their families may have regular run-ins with the law, they have spotty school attendance, problems in school and may have behavioral or emotional struggles. Most existing programs can’t draw these kids in, and thus, can’t reach them.
Many professionals believe that these youth are no longer ‘at-risk,’ but have already arrived. This research has focused on ‘at-risk’ kids living in a single parent home, have suffered a traumatic life-changing event, are disadvantaged, are delinquent, many have learning disabilities, a physical handicap or are troubled. At Grace Racing, we can entice these kids with the dirt bikes, and we can incorporate high levels of one-on-one time with positive role models. Role models that can be a life-changing event in their lives.