MADISONVILLE, Ky. (3/19/18) — Light of Chance Inc. is celebrating one of its own after a Hopkins County youth was appointed to the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board by Gov. Matt Bevin.

Seventeen-year-old Hopkins County Central High School junior Jontae Minor, who has been a part of the Light of Chance, Hopkins County-based Breathe Youth Arts program for six years, will serve a three-year term on the board starting Sept. 15. He will represent youth and young adults under 24. He is the only high school student to be appointed the term.

“I am honored I have been selected to be a part of this program,” Minor said. “I really appreciate the opportunity, and I am excited to start voicing my opinion.”

Laura Mcaully, Juvenile Justice Specialist, along with Glenda Wright, Sky Subcommittee Chairwoman from the Juvenile Justice Department in Frankfort presented Minor with a certificate Saturday at the Breathe Youth Arts Program site at Rosenwald Multicultural Center, located at 208 Kentucky Ave. in Madisonville.

The JJAB established the Subcommittee of Kentucky’s Youth that allows them to voice their opinions and experiences to make improvements to the juvenile justice system. This board develops program criteria for early juvenile intervention, diversion and prevention projects.

It is made up of members between the ages of 16-24 from across the state. Those involved are made up of youth advocates, current or former system-involved youth and high school or college students who want to be involved in systems of change. Members are expected to have a mature and responsible attitude at all times.

“We are ecstatic that Jontae has been appointed to the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board by Gov. Bevin,” said Dr. Jay Miller, chair of the JJAB. “His insight and perspective will be invaluable as we persist in our mission to enhance the quality of life for youth throughout the state. His appointment is a testament to the impact of community programs, such as Light of Chance, that work to foster the development of young people like Jontae. The Board is truly better for having him.”

Light of Chance Executive Director Eric Logan, who has worked with Minor since he was a fifth-grader, said the award is greatly deserved.

“I am so proud of Jontae for being appointed by Gov. Bevin to the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board,” Logan said. “It is a prestigious honor and opportunity for him which will have a lasting positive impact on his life. Jontae brings value that will help benefit Kentucky's youth.”

Christopher Leal, Breathe music instructor and mentor for youth in Hopkins County, said Minor inspires a lot of children through his talent, noting he captivates an audience.

Minor said the Breathe program has taught him to express himself through music and writing. He plans to attend Madisonville Community College for two years after graduating from HCCHS, and then transfer to Middle Tennessee State University.

“It helps me get my feelings out there,” he said. “I want to be a role model for people and be an entertainer.”

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