AboutThe Benji Project is dedicated to the memory of Benji Kenworthy, who died at age 15 by suicide."Wild Geese"You do not have to be good.You do not have to walk on your kneesFor a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.You only have to let the soft animal of your bodylove what it loves.Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.Meanwhile the world goes on.Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rainare moving across the landscapes,over the prairies and the deep trees,the mountains and the rivers.Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,are heading home again.Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,the world offers itself to your imagination,calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting over and over announcing your placein the family of things.By Mary Oliver
In loving memory of Benji Kenworthy - (1999 to-2015)
BackgroundOur program targets youth ages 11 to 19 in Jefferson County, a demographic of about 2,500 people.Our area is largely rural, remote, and economically disadvantaged which impacts teens’ well-being. A lack of age-appropriate mental health resources adds to the challenges that adolescents face. The Healthy Youth Survey showed in 2016 that 23 percent of our 10th graders had attempted suicide, double the state average.We serve all teens regardless of means, and 85 percent of participants pay nothing or a reduced amount on a need-based sliding scale. Keeping programs affordable to participants requires extensive and ongoing fundraising.