‘We’re here to teach them’: North Myrtle Beach police offers life skills program to teens
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The North Myrtle Beach Police Department wants to teach teens valuable life lessons that they might not find in a typical classroom.
The department created the “Life Skills Team,” which is made up of police officers, firefighters, and a few community members.
They host classes for teenagers ages 15-18 where they teach life skills such as budgeting, building a resume, cooking, and even how to change a tire.
So far, the program has only been available to teens at Safe Haven, which is a nonprofit for children getting out of tough situations.
But now, the program is now open to the public.
Officer Patrick Wilkinson, with the North Myrtle Beach Police Department, said this program is an opportunity for kids to both learn and interact with police in a different way.
“The interaction that we’re having with them is not necessarily in a law enforcement capacity. Yes, we’re still in uniforms, but we’re not visiting them on a bad say. We’re here to teach them and learn and grow with them and that interaction is crucial,” Wilkinson explained.
Jennique Myrie-Cordero, the program supervisor for the Crisis Center at Sea Haven, said kids were definitely apprehensive at first.
“Nobody wants to talk about money, but the moment they got into it, they did not want the class to be over,” said Myrie-Cordero. “Their eyes opened up to the real world of what it’s like to be an adult, and to be responsible, paying taxes, paying bills, and saving.”
While some of the kids at Safe Haven have interacted with NMBPD before, the workshop opened up a new kind of connection.
“It was almost like a lightbulb just clicked on, at first they were kind of reserved, you know it was like “you’ve got police officers here, how are they gonna be?”, but then they were like “these are normal people, and they actually care about me and us learning this stuff”,” said Wilkinson.
The program is now open to all kids ages 15-18 in North Myrtle Beach and a different life skills workshop is offered each month.
In October, the program is partnering with Mission BBQ to teach teenagers about job interviews and learning the skills needed to get hired.
Registration is open and the department asks those interested to scan the QR code in the post below in order to sign up.
Copyright 2023 WMBF. All rights reserved.