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Ignite volunteers unsure about what's next for Richland mentorship program

Ignite volunteers unsure about what's next for Richland mentorship program

RICHLAND, Wash. —The future of a mentorship program pairing adults with at-risk youth is in question Wednesday night after an email sent on Friday told volunteers the paid staff, their supervisors, were being laid off.

KyriAnn Boothroyd volunteers with Ignite in Richland.

She said the announcement sent a wave of shock and disappointment through the group.

And while her volunteer-role as mentor isn't currently on the line, Boothroyd said the support-staff she reported to, and in many cases relied on, are no longer in the picture.

"I'm afraid that some of the mentors will, without that solid support from the staff, won't hang in there as long as they really need to for these kids," she said.

Boothroyd said she's worried about the kids in the program because it's especially important for vulnerable youth and teens to have a variety of trusted, non-parent adults to share their problems with.

As for Ignite, she said she was told whatever happens in the next few weeks will determine what will happen to the program.

For now, she said, things remain in the air.

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