Myrtle Beach creates Youth Services Coordinator position

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A new position within the City of Myrtle Beach will focus on helping kids and teens become leaders in the community. Part of the focus will be on kids and areas considered “at-risk.”

Ja’Net Wade, who was born and raised in the area, was hired for the position and began in mid-October. She went to Socastee High School where she played several sports, attended the University of Richmond and then came back to the Grand Strand to work at Crabtree Memorial Gym. She also coached at Myrtle Beach High School in 1997-98 when the women’s basketball team won the State Championship.

“I’ve always gravitated towards teens and youth,” said Wade. “I feel like I can get on their level and I just remember the importance of it whenever I was developed.”

She’s only had the position for three weeks but has hit the ground running by meeting with different organizations and planning an advisory board.

She said the city has several youth organizations, like the Boys and Girls Club and YMCA, but kids often don’t take advantage of them.

“That’s where I feel that the city felt that dire need to have someone be more hands on,” added Wade.

She will now act as a liaison between the youth and different civic organizations, churches, schools and recreation programs.

“My main focus and my number one thing is the teens,” said Wade. She believes if teenagers are taught about leadership and are trained to be role models, they can influence the younger children in the area.

Wade has several goals for the position. She wants to create 50 or more partnerships with civic organizations, churches and businesses so the kids and teenagers can work with them.

She has also created an advisory board called the Mary C. Canty Life-Long Impacted Teens or MCC LIT. She wants it to be completely run by teenagers who want to get involved.

Wade said, “I’m leaving it to them. If they’re wanting to plan events for the City of Myrtle Beach, for other teens, if they’re wanting to volunteer in community youth service activities, if they want to do field trips or career development and mentoring,”

She also wants to help kids and teenagers who may be in “high risk” areas.

“They don’t want to be a part of their environment. They want to make a difference,” she added.

Students who are a part of MCC LIT will have to keep up with grades, work and volunteer hours.

The first meeting is Sunday November 6 at 2:30pm at the Mary C. Canty Recreation Center located at 971 Canal Street in Myrtle Beach.

Wade hopes it will be the beginning of a positive movement for kids and teenagers inside and outside of Myrtle Beach.

“Building from there and building more within these years and years to come,” said Wade. “And outside of that, getting the entire community involved on our backs. Let’s build momentum.”