Teens across the country are looking forward to the school year and many new experiences that will enrich their lives and start them on their way to future success. Those who struggle with mental health and addiction issues during this critical time of life, however, face tremendous challenges that not only threaten their present well-being, but can also limit their options well into adulthood.
USDA and the Obama Administration are committed to ensuring these youth, and all of our young people, have the support they need to grow and thrive – whether they live in large metropolitan areas or the most rural areas. An example of this support is a recently awarded USDA Business and Industry loan guarantee to finance the renovation and expansion of Rimrock Trails Adolescent Treatment Services in remote Prineville, Oregon. Last week, I joined professionals working in youth recovery and their many community partners to break ground on the project.
Through their comprehensive in-patient and out-patient services last year, Rimrock Trails helped more than 130 adolescents realize sobriety, distance themselves from negative influences, recover school credits, and develop life skills. The youth who come here for care and support find ladders of opportunity to help them climb above their individual challenges and grow into productive adults leading fulfilling lives.
USDA Rural Development and our community partners demonstrate our commitment to the next generation by building infrastructure, creating economic opportunity, and enhancing the quality of life across rural America. Among this large, diverse body of work, I am most proud of the public-private partnership helping our most vulnerable youth build a more stable future for themselves.