VOICE programs offered in nine counties

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : November 7, 2012

VOICE Inc community programs

Courtesy Photo
VOICE volunteers assist children with assignments during a spring break program.

Robyn Wheeler
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–Kiwanis member Gina Dieterichs spoke at the weekly meeting Oct. 31, about Viable Options in Community Endeavors, better known as VOICE Inc.
Dieterichs has been the director of marketing and development for the organization for the past five years and says VOICE now serves nine counties including Navarro, MClennan, Henderson, Kaufman, Hill, Freestone, Limestone, Falls and Bosque.
In addition to the two offices located in Waco and Corsicana, another is being built in Athens, to better serve the Henderson County area.
“We would like to include Van Zandt and Rains counties in the near future,” Dieterichs said.
VOICE encourages children and families to lead healthier and more productive lives offering useful and educational programs throughout the year.
The organization’s 25 staff members present various research-based prevention programs to all children kindergarten through 12th grade.
Dieterichs says prevention program topics include drugs, alcohol, tobacco, abstinence and bullying.
VOICE also provides special programs including:
• English language class for Hispanic families.
• free summer and spring break camps. The 2013 spring break camp will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Gun Barrel City. Participants must have transportation to and from the camp. Spring camp is limited to 75 kids.
• Training Our Own Leader (TOOL) for students in ninth through 12th grade. Students receive a $500 scholarship to a college or trade school of their choice upon completion of the class.
“We find the high school students to be positive role models for the younger kids,” Dieterichs said.
High school students wishing to participate in the TOOL program must have a B average, good citizenship and three letters of recommendation. Fifty hours of community service hours a year is mandatory, 20 of which must be with VOICE.
Number of students in this program is limited to 18.
• participation in many local and national events including Walk Like MADD, Cotton Row Run, Hip Hop to the Health Fair and YMCA Healthy Kids Day.
VOICE employees undergo a thorough background check, drug test and must complete the curriculum training.
For more information, call (903) 872-0180 or go to