WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – For Wichita Police Department Officer Jorge “Alex” Avendano, his work with the department’s Juvenile Intervention Unit is more than a job. Avendano recently started a YouTube channel where he tries to keep people in the community informed. In his videos, he aims to teach teens important life skills like changing a tire or dressing for a job interview. His mission is simple. He wants to make a difference in teenagers’ lives.
“I wanted to be able to influence our youth in the same way I was influenced and try to help them have a better life and be more successful,” Officer Avendano said.
He’s been working for the WPD for 14 years, two of which he’s served as a school resource officer. In September, he became part of WPD’s Juvenile Intervention Unit. Avendano said this has come with some challenges.
“It’s been difficult to do our job right now with COVID, just being able to reach out to kids and have some of that connection that I was having at the school,” he said.
A little after Wichita schools went to remote learning, Officer Avendano started a Facebook page and recently started the YouTube channel with the purpose of teaching teens basic life skills.
“Over the years, I realized that some of them didn’t know how to change a tire, didn’t know how to tie a tie, didn’t know how to use the drill, simple things that you learn a lot of times from a family member like a parent or something like that,” he said. “But I noticed also there were a lot of kids at the school that didn’t have those experiences.”
Officer Avendano said the purpose of the YouTube channel is not only to connect with the youth, but to inform the community and showcase the city of Wichita.
“We’ll be putting up some different videos, kind of showing what the (Wichita Police Department) does as well,” he said.
He said he also wants to showcase “some of the great things that the city of Wichita has to offer.”
He said connecting with teens in the community goes beyond his job.
“But I feel like a lot of the kids at West High and a lot of the kids I interact with now, they’re my kids,” he said. “So I feel really proud seeing them succeed and doing good. It just feels good to be able to see them doing well.”
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