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OXNARD : Help Needed to Run Youth Boot Camp

Volunteers are needed to help run a wilderness boot camp aimed at keeping high-risk youth out of trouble.

El Concilio del Condado de Ventura needs 210 volunteers to run the weeklong program, known as Breakthrough Youth for Success, but so far only 115 have signed up.

Without more volunteers, El Concilio will be forced to drop some of the 60 Oxnard youngsters enrolled in the boot camp, scheduled for Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 in Big Bear.

“If we don’t get enough volunteers, we don’t get to take all the kids,” said Kathy Marrujo-Thurman, who is coordinating the program for the Oxnard-based community service agency.

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The program is for youngsters 15 to 18 who authorities have identified as being at risk for joining gangs, dropping out of school or getting involved in other trouble.

The boot camp is being funded by a $125,000 federal grant administered by the city of Oxnard and about $120,000 in private donations.

Marrujo-Thurman said volunteers are most needed to meet with youngsters after they return from the camp. These “committed partners” meet individually with the teen-agers one to two hours a week for a year.

Volunteers also are needed to perform a variety of other tasks, including serving as on-site counselors in Big Bear.

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For details, call 983-2336, Ext. 227.


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