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Angels In Our Midst

Angels In Our Midst

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Updated: Tuesday, July 15 2014, 11:16 AM CDT
At the Youth Village in Ft. Walton Beach, they are truly committed to the premise that it "does" take a village to raise a child.
Three generations are overseeing the well being of children in this village; a mother, her daughter, and, "Miss B", the Angel in our Midst.

The Youth Village was founded 15 years ago by Nellie Bogar.  She saw a great need for after school and summer programs for the community's children and an alternative to the streets.   

Trinity Hixson-Wells, 6th year at the Youth Village:  It's a safer place for kids to come during the day.
They feed us and they protect us.

Her daughter, Valerie is Nellie's right hand in running the Village.  She keeps abreast of the latest technology and educational trends to help the children.  And then, there is the all important elder of the Village, Nellie's mother, Geretta Bogar, or, Miss B.

Montell Crittenden, Youth Village Graduate/Volunteer;  Ahhh, Miss B, Miss B.  She's had me ever since I started here. 

She comes and helps us like she would if we were her own grandkids or her own children.  Like, she holds onto us to make sure that we make a better life for ourselves

Geretta Bogar, Youth Village Elder;  Some of the call me Mama Bogar and I feel good when they say that, you know.

Geretta Bogar, Youth Village Elder;  Like they always say, you be around young people, it makes you feel young.  And I enjoy being with them and doing whatever I can to help them, you know.

Miss B helps with math and reading to keep the children learning year round, she dotes over their arts projects, helps prepare snacks and lunch, chaperones on field trips; she's a confidante and problem solver ... Most of all, she dispenses "mother wit" and wisdom.

Geretta Bogar, Youth Village Elder;  Well, I try to make them love one another and, you know, be like sisters and brothers and be friendly with one another.

Geretta Bogar, Youth Village Elder;  Act nice, period, and be nice.  That's what I want them to remember even when they're not here; to respect one another and to respect their parents.

Her words have stayed with most of the young people who've come through the village over the years.  Her soft-spoken and gentle ways have been such an example that many of the graduates comes back to the village to help raise up the next generation.

Montell Crittenden, Youth Village Graduate/Volunteer;  I really want to be a part of that.  I really want to help these kids know that it will be, they can make it to new heights and achieve their goal if they just keep trying.

And for a little encouragement, Miss B always has her stash of treats.  It's nothing much, but that extra something that's just another way of letting the children know they are loved and cared about in the village.

Trinity Hixson-Wells, 6th year at the Youth Village:  It's not just a village.  Here, it's family and your friends and everybody to come to when you're in trouble.  And, whenever I look at the people in that room over there, I see people I can rely on.ANGELS IN OUR MIDST (Miss B)

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