Youth Coordinator Focused on Growth

posted 11/22/22 -- Jeff Ross cultivates growth in both the youth in his charge and the program that serves them.

The Elyria native began coordinating LCCAA’s Youth Services program earlier this fall and looks forward to making a difference in his community.

“This position has such a high ceiling of what it can do,” Ross said. “I’ve already been able to use relationships and create new ones.”

Ross graduated from Elyria Catholic High School and attended Ashland University before returning to Lorain County as a teacher’s aide and coach. He knows the Youth Services program creates significant relationships.

“From a young age, I was aware of my friends and who I should be around,” he said. “We all come from our own situations that cause an imprint.”

Youth Services operates the LCCAA Bike Shop and works throughout the community at service projects. The program also provides mentoring services and other soft skills to the 16 to 24 year olds enrolled for six months at a time. Currently, 16 youth are enrolled in the program which partners with OhioMeansJobs Lorain County.

A new position to be added next year will enable the program to serve as many as 12 more. The position is funded by a grant from the Lorain County Commissioners.

Ross said he has been working to show the youth the value of rules. Most recently, that manifested in a push for them to earn better grades in school.

“The better you prioritize your grades, the easier it’s going to be to do what you want to do,” Ross said. “Be committed to trying your best.”

Every small success is worth celebrating and Ross isn’t shy about starting one, he said.

“Coming from a place where no one has pushed you, I will throw a party for you if you go from all Fs to all Ds,” he said. “You really value that when you go from being the kid who was a knucklehead in high school to a position like this.”