'It gave me hope': Youth Reach in east Houston offers 2nd chance to troubled boys

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With more than 30 years of turning around troubled teens, Youth Reach Houston in the east side continues to offer hope to those who have been shunned as hopeless.

The Christian centered camp takes in boys between the ages of 12 and 17 years old, who recognize they need a second opportunity in life.

That second chance isn't necessarily instant and it has to be earned.

"Here, they have to work hard to receive everything. And I tell ya, the work ethic is big here," said Curt Williams, the founder and executive director of Youth Reach. "We're raising a generation of young men who come through this program that are very familiar with blisters, sweat and sore muscles from good, hard work.

Once a teen arrives, the boy starts off each weekday with a one-mile run before breakfast. Then, teens perform the countless chores around the 26-acre camp.

Ultimately, the hope is for the teens to develop character, responsibility and work ethic.

"It changed my life a lot, because when I first came in, my work ethic was where it shouldn't be for someone my age. I was entitled to whatever I wanted. I had lots of anger in my life. And things in my life weren't going where I wanted it to go," said Christian, a teen at Youth Reach.

And while it's a lengthy road for the young men, the program's teens believe it's better than the alternative.

"First, I was a little overwhelmed because it was a one-year commitment. And I was like, I don't know if I can do one year. Then, I thought to myself, what's better: to be like this for the rest of my life, or turn something around?" said Caleb, another teen at Youth Reach.

Caleb added that it is indeed not easy, but it can get better for those who take the commitment seriously.

You can learn the insights of Youth Reach and how it turns around troubled boys through its website.

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