Program highlight

OMAC

Operation Making A Change is a prevention and intervention program for youth at-risk of being involved in the court system. The program was founded by Gerald “Geo” Gibson, a former prisoner, who is employed by the Lexington Police Department. WJRF funds the OMAC program at Franklin County High School where 19 students participate in the weekly program.

In the spring of 2017, I heard about a program that was being run in Lexington called OMAC, (Operation Making a Change). This program was being offered at many of the elementary school and had an after school program for at risk middle and high school youth. I contacted my counterpart at the Fayette County Juvenile Justice office to find out more about this possible life-changing program. A meeting was set up for me to meet Gerald Gibson, better known as Geo at his office in Lexington. After hearing more about the program from Geo, who developed the program himself while incarcerated, I knew that this was something that I had to help bring to the youth of Franklin County. I knew just the right person to contact to make this happen, Amy Snow. Before I knew it in a very short span of a few weeks, the very first Frankfort OMAC was going to have a summer program. 

That first summer, I attended many of the sessions. I was able to see firsthand Geo build relationships with at risk youth in Frankfort. He is honest and real with them; he tells them just how it was for him and the choices he made. I think Geo is able to reach many of our youth that might otherwise be lost. He is able to do this because he has walked in their shoes. He has made some poor choices in his life but he has turned those negatives into positives by turning his life around and giving back to the community. Geo has been a positive role model for many of our young men and women who otherwise may not have someone to look up to. He can relate to what they are going through and the challenges they face. 

Stacey Heisler Williams

Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice, Regional Supervisor

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