Bench Mark Program's purpose is to find the leader within every student.
We've created a gym space in Lancaster City for at-risk youth between the ages of 13-24. It's a unique space that gives young men and women a chance to block out the world around them, focus on themselves, and achieve little victories. Outside of the gym, student's often feel like everything is working against them, but inside the gym they know that our mentors are working FOR them.
The weight room is our tool for goal setting. We start small: we work on getting off probation, getting back to school, graduating, and finding a job. For many of our students, working at our gym is the best way to jump into the local workforce. Bench Mark gives our students the chance to come full-circle, allowing them to move through different programs, and ultimately, into operation and leadership of those same programs.
We believe in (and practice) a trauma-informed approach to weight lifting. All of our staff and many of our volunteer mentors are trained to meet students where they are and maintain healthy mentoring relationships over the course of months and years, not weeks and days. One workout at a time, we help our students recognize their inner leader, and in doing so, our students lift up our entire community.