S.O.A.R. program educates troubled Horry Co. youth

S.O.A.R. program educates troubled Horry Co. youth

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The first group of five kids completed the S.O.A.R. program, and now directors are looking to help a new group of kids. S.O.A.R. is a 12-hour program for young, troubled kids through the Horry County Sheriff's Office. It stands for Success, Overcome, Achieve, and Re-educate.

"These kids are our lawyers and doctors and judges and presidents of the United States. These are our future. And if we don't reach these kids now, we're not going to have a future," said Lance Corporal Harold Connor with the Horry County Sheriff's Office.

Connor said the program is dedicated to making sure all children in Horry County understand authority, respect and the impact of hard work. The kids will stay overnight in jail under the supervision of sworn law enforcement officers. Connor said the program teaches juveniles that disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated in their home, school or community.

"Hopefully when they leave this program, they'll understand a couple things, that there's people out there that care a lot about them. There's people out there that'll help them in any way that they need. And there's people out there that respect them," Connor said.

This program is not just for kids who are already in trouble. S.O.A.R. is for young kids who are showing signs of trouble and disrespect. The program is designed to deter them from a life of crime and trouble.

"We've had over 760 come through our four-hour program, and these kids are already in trouble," explained Connor. "I don't want 700! I'd rather cut it down to 300, because the other 400 say, 'Hey, we saw the program and we went through the program and it changed us.'"

The program also involves multiple follow-up sessions with the deputies involved.

"That's our main issue, is going back and following up with these kids and letting them know if nobody out there cares about you - we do. Because we expect more out of you than what you expect out of you," Connor said.

If you have any interest in signing your child up, you can contact Connor at 843-915-6887 or conorh@horrycounty.org.

You will need to fill out an application, pay a $10 fee - $20 if you live outside Horry County - and have a doctor perform a physical on the child. If you cannot pay for the physical, the sheriff's office will consider covering the cost in order to help your child. This program is for any child in Horry County.

"You just got to keep on wanting to succeed at what you do. Don't ever quit. Because quitters don't get anywhere. If you'll finish what you started, then you'll succeed in life. And that's the main reason for this program. To show them that there is another way other than the way that they're going," Connor said.

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