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Event is a ray of hope

It’s easy to forget the Hampton Roads Youth Center is even in Suffolk.

The residential school for troubled youth, on 55 acres off Kenyan Road, is amazingly quiet and attracts little attention from its neighbors. But the school, equipped to help 18 teenagers – nine boys and nine girls between the ages of 12 and 17 – work through the social, emotional and educational problems that can make growing up such a challenge, is accomplishing great things.

Kids get individualized attention in the classroom, oftentimes enabling them to overcome the academic obstacles that had them lagging behind. The teenagers and their families go through an intensive counseling program, where they work through the problems that landed them in the youth center to start with.

But such services come with a price tag, one that could make the program prohibitive to those who stand to benefit the most.

That’s why events like the HRYC’s annual fundraiser, Ray of Hope awards gala, are so important. Money generated through the gala, which is being held on Oct. 18 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, is critical to the center’s continued success.