TROY: Preventing roadblocks, involving students in the community

COLUMBIA CITY — As TROY Center continues to strive for student excellence, the staff has embraced the motto “to do whatever it takes” to ensure those students reach their goals.According to TROY Center Administrator Nicole Trier, TROY, which was recently accredited in August, provides mentoring, social skills education, wellness activities, basic skills education, fine arts, substance abuse education, physical training and tutoring.“Our goal is to catch the students who will otherwise fall through the cracks because they’ve been expelled or something like that,” said Trier.TROY currently works with 24 students.Preventing road blocksIn order to reach out to students, and “to do whatever it takes,” TROY has several programs to alleviate certain road blocks — transportation being one of them.“We pick every student up at their house, we bring them to school and we take them home from school so transportation is not an obstacle,” said Trier. “We do approximately five hours of driving time each day, but we are not located in the heart of the city so it makes it difficult for kids to get here without the transportation.”TROY also offers free meals, with a suggested free will donation. “We are looking for funding right now,” said Trier. “We provide lunches for the students everyday, and we’re not charging for those lunches. We’ve found that kids just won’t eat if we’re charging so we’re asking for donations for those lunches. A lot of kids are able to pay the suggested donation, but a lot aren’t. For some of our students, it’s the only healthy meal they might have that day. ”Another service TROY offers is the Teen Parenting Program.“We have students who are either expecting a child or who have already had a child,” said Trier. “They can bring the child here to school with them. We have three moms right now that bring their children to school with them.”Programs such as B.A.B.E. and Early Childhood Alliance also come to the school to work with mothers.“We also have a father who will be enrolled in the program,” said Trier.In the communityInvolving students in the community allows them the opportunity to enhance their social skills.“Something they recently participated in was the United Way Day of Caring,” said Trier. “We went in two teams to work at The Center and the library.”Saturday, TROY held a 5K at the school for anyone who wanted to participate.“Every dollar that we raised is going to the support services,” said Trier.The United Way of Whitley County recently came to the school, to take photos of the students and are now being used in billboards across Whitley County.“There are actually three billboards up,” said Trier. “One is above Kernel Coladas on U.S. 30. The other is on Ind. 9 at the turn coming from Indian Springs Middle School. I think that the third one is up now. I haven’t seen it yet, but I think that it is at Ind. 14 and U.S. 224 toward Huntington County.”The TROY Center welcomes those who are interested to take tours and learn more about TROY Center, located at 4905 N. 550 W., Columbia City IN.For more information on the TROY Center call 244-2340.