Starke County Youth Club Embraces Opportunities


The Starke County Youth Club has been teaching life skills to local youngsters for the past 15 years, according to Executive Director Irene Szakonyi.

“Kids today deserve our respect and our time, but they have to be given the opportunity to learn the right choice for them and to learn the consequences if they don’t make the right choice. Having that network and that structure gives kids practice at being good people.

Szakonyi adds habits are taught, and youngsters need to be given a chance to make a good choice.

Students enrolled in the Starke County Youth Club’s after school programs at Knox, North Judson-San Pierre and Oregon-Davis get those chances each day. Szakonyi says the seeds for Club were planted in the late 1990s by community visionaries who felt youngsters needed additional support. Those early talks and partnerships with local school officials led to the start of a Saturday morning recreational program.

“The data really said that the prime time for juvenile crime and those risky behaviors is between the time when the school bell rings and their families are home from work,” Szakonyi said. “They took yet another leap of faith and moved to a weekday program.”

The Starke County Youth Club’s annual WKVI Radiothon fundraiser will take place tomorrow (Friday) from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Find more information online at