Crossroads Mentoring makes impact on Panhandle youth

Crossroads Mentoring received a donation from the Operation Round Up program after consideration from the TCEC Foundation Board of Directors. TCEC members who generously volunteer to round up their bills make these donations possible.

In 2018 Robbie Wayman, with the help of Teresa Barnes from Oklahoma Juvenile Affairs, began Crossroads Mentoring serving the Oklahoma Panhandle. Crossroads is a program run through the Office of Juvenile Affairs where mentors like Robbie go through the approval process to serve as a mentor. The program targets at-risk youth that could end up in Oklahoma Juvenile Affairs custody or youth that need extra support. Crossroads gives these kids guidance through the probation process and the support they desperately need in their daily lives. Crossroads serves Texas, Beaver, and Cimarron counties but will not turn anyone away who needs them.

Robbie serves and mentors these young people by having one-on-one meals, phone calls, and meetings with them and their families. Special events are also held once a month to allow the kids to meet as a group and discuss problems or issues they are facing. These events allow them to have fun in a safe environment, relax, and connect with others. Event nights are left for the youth to plan, with Robbie and Teresa organizing and chaperoning. Events might include a night of bowling, pizza and games, or trips to see a movie. Crossroads also does its best to meet the needs of students in other ways, such as school supplies, clothing, and health concerns if needed. Teresa applauded Robbie for all of the hard work, dedication, and personal time that he continues to give to the program.

"That's what sets Robbie apart; he always goes the extra mile," said Teresa.

The program's goal is to change the course of these kids' lives and eventually have a youth-run program with adult oversight. Both Robbie and Teresa feel that they are moving toward that goal.

The program was designed to be successful by the implementation of these three phases:

1. Building Trusting Relationships

  • Meeting with youth and their families in the home
  • Establishing a connection through phone calls, text messages, meals, and becoming aware of what is important to the youth
  • Clifton Strengths Finder Assessment

2. Accountability

  • Identify probation conditions and help them complete probation
  • Establishing a schedule for counseling appointments/Oklahoma Juvenile Affairs appointments
  • Ensuring the youth meets their curfew set by Oklahoma Juvenile Affairs
  • Help develop a plan to complete community service hours
  • Attend Crossroads events and ensure that all youth understand the three strike rule that has been put into place by the youth already in the program
  • Provide documentation (once probation has been completed) of their positive accomplishments, along with pictures to document their success

3. Being a Part of the Solution (optional)

  • Once probation has been completed, they can choose to stay with Crossroads Mentoring for continued support and coaching without being a coach/mentor
  • Youth identified by Robbie and Teresa who are ready for a leadership role can become support team members

Operation Round Up would not be possible without our members. If you are not already rounding up your bill and would like to begin, or if you would like to make a one-time contribution, visit the Operation Round Up page in SmartHub to view and change your contribution options. One-time contributions can also be made by making a check payable to the 'TCEC Foundation' with Operation Round Up in the memo line and mailing it to TCEC, PO Box 880, Hooker, OK 73945. To learn more, contact TCEC at 580-652-2418.

The TCEC Foundation Board of Directors meets quarterly to review applications for Operation Round Up and disburse funds. Applications are due April 1 for consideration at the next meeting on April 13. If you know of a need, encourage the charitable organization to apply at