For 15-year-old Savannah Thompson of Thackerville, it’s a chance “to better myself for the future.” Fourteen-year-old Ardmore Middle School student ShantéAsia Traylor, wants “to learn more about the life of adults and school and jobs and what the world has to offer me.”


For 15-year-old Savannah Thompson of Thackerville, it’s a chance “to better myself for the future.” Fourteen-year-old Ardmore Middle School student ShantéAsia Traylor, wants “to learn more about the life of adults and school and jobs and what the world has to offer me.”

And for Lesley Dvorak, director of The Grace Center in Ardmore, it’s the fulfillment of a need she saw years ago when she worked for the Department of Human Services.

Monday night, a group of area teenagers gathered at The Grace Center for the kickoff of the T-3 Training Teens For Tomorrow program. T-3 is an intense, two-week program designed to teach teens everything from budgeting and financial management to relationship and communication building and everything in between. In other words, life skills they will need as they become adults.
“The idea came from when I was working for Child Welfare where teens turning 18 aged out of all the programs and were on their own,” Dvorak said. “This program will help give them the tools they will need to be successful adults.”

The program is open to teens 14 to 18 and meets from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday at The Grace Center. According to promotional materials, this program will be “youth driven and youth focused” ... “and will be geared toward assisting these young people in achieving independence, and also emphasize the importance of early planning for a successful transition to adulthood.”

Classes to be offered include:

Budgeting and financial management training; Decision-making and daily living skills; Job placement and retention support; Relationship and communication building; Parenting and conflict resolution; Anger management; Pregnancy resources/prevention; Smoking avoidance; Substance abuse; Higher-education resources; Life skills/etiquette; Health-care options; Renting or buying a home; and Cooking and nutrition.

Dvorak said she conducted in-service meetings at most of the area high schools and middle schools and had an initial 16 individuals sign up for the co-ed program. She hopes to have more in future sessions, which she plans to offer four times per year.

The program includes door prizes and for participants every night, with a graduation-incentive bag including portfolios, resumes and gift cards at the end.

Traylor, for one, is anxious to get started.

“The people that are going to talk to us about everything, I think it will be neat to hear about what all they do,” she said. “I’m just ready for the real world and be out on my own. I just want to take it to heart where this will help me.”

Anyone interested in signing their teen up for future programs call (580) 226-2878 or (580) 223-2027.