(Rendering above, Courtesy of J Bar J)
The students at J Bar J Boys Ranch got a boost towards the construction of a new vocational program from the Duck Race on Sunday the 9th. The new building will replace an old shop on the property, and allow for the addition of a vocational program incorporated into the Learning Center at J Bar J Boys Ranch, an accredited alternative school on site. Teaching hands-on subjects like construction and woodworking, small engine repair and robotics not only gives youth work skills, it helps them develop problem solving and to understand ways in which training can help them build a future.
Vocational training gives the greatest boost to the kids who need it most: boys, and students from low-income families. The youth in the Boys Ranch program come to J Bar J through the juvenile justice system, having made bad choices, yet capable of changing their trajectory. This program will not only build resiliency and increase employment possibilities for the boys and reduce the likelihood of youth re-offending in our community, it will help build a local workforce.
The Great Drake Park Duck Race is a collaboration of the four rotary clubs in Bend: Rotary Club of Greater Bend, Mt. Bachelor Rotary, Rotary Club of Bend and Rotary Club of The High Desert, and raises funds for nonprofits in Central Oregon helping kids and families. This year’s event raised nearly $103,000 in duck sales. Proceeds will benefit J Bar J Boys Ranch’s vocational school program, Bethlehem Inn Kitchen, The Giving Plate, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA,) Kids Center, Mountain Star, Shepherd’s House and Greater Bend Rotary Foundation.