Thu | Jan 17, 2019

True Vine Writer's Camp targets at-risk youth

Published:Saturday | October 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMShanna Kaye Monteith/Gleaner Writer

Young author and visionary, Colleen Cohen, is launching what is called the True Vine Writer's Camp, which, according to her, will exist to inspire hope by transforming families and communities, one neighbourhood at a time.

With youth, nation building, book writing, and mentorship as its core values, the camp is geared at teaching at-risk youth in crime-stricken communities how to write a book and tell their story.

"At the end of each training, we will publish the book of the youth with the most compelling story. The remaining campers, will, however, be placed in our mentorship programme, where each camper will be assigned 'destiny helpers'," Cohen shared.

She told Family & Religion that these destiny helpers will work closely with each camper by helping them to get a job or skill.

According to the inspired young woman, "This will ultimately help these youth to accomplish their God-given dream and purpose while helping to contribute to Vision 2030, which aims to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, raise families and do business. We are simply doing our part to help in the transformation of a better Jamaica."

Cohen said that the True Vine Writer's Camp which will cater to young people ages 13 to 18, will be launched on December 21 in the August Town community so as to sensitise the community members about the programme.

Thereafter, three camps will be held for the year 2019, the first being in August Town.

The other two, according to Cohen, are set for Arnett Gardens in March, and lastly in Mount Salem, St James.

"Our ultimate is aim is to transform lives and we feel that if we reach youths, then they can help to inspire change in their own lives, families, communities, and ultimately, country. Can you imagine the impact that can be had when a young man or woman from an inner-city community has their book published? This we believe will bring about a greater sense of pride for youth, family and community," Cohen said, adding that the team will partner with local and international authors, counselling psychologists and teachers of English to make this dream a reality.

The True Vine Writer's Camp is an extension of Cohen's devotional The True Vine: Your Guide to Spiritual Upliftment which was published in April 2017.

The devotional is for anyone who wants to be spiritually motivated through the Word of God as well as through practical power nuggets from real life experiences.