Opportunity Out of the Ashes

Fire damaged the Wichita Falls Youth Opportunities Center about a year ago.  Now a year later, YOC's founder says the improvements made to the center have been great and its all thanks to the community.

Brenda Jarrett founded the center more than fifteen years ago.  She said since the fire and the time its taken to make repairs, its been a positive opportunity for the community to step up and come together.  One year later, its helped make her and her center stronger.

"That evening we had a planned boxing event," Jarrett said.

She will never forget the day the Youth Opportunity Center caught fire.

"I was called and someone said, Brenda the YOC is on fire and it just took my breath away."

Flames erupted in the kitchen, severely damaging the walls, cabinets and appliances.

"We lost our island, two ovens, the refrigerator and the freezer," Jarrett said, but she wasn't discouraged.  She knew if she asked for help her community would step up.

"We just made an appeal to the community," Jarrett explained.  "It was pay it forward to YOC."

The response was incredible.

"Young people with their grandparents, parents came out with mops, brooms, buckets to help with the restoration of the Youth Opportunity Center."

Now, nearly one year later, she thanks the community for the repairs.  The kids and community members have helped repaint, clean and repair what they can.

"I'm grateful and appreciative to those that did come out and those that's going to come out in the future," Jarrett said.

The kitchen still needs a lot of work, but she believes it will get done.

"It's on going, but Wichita Falls can do it."

Taelor Rian, Newschannel 6.