A program that started in 1992 offering teen dances is now celebrating its successes in helping young parents and others turn their lives around.

More than 7,000 Island young people have been helped in one way or another through the programs and services provided by the Adventure Group of P.E.I. Executive director Roxanne Carter-Thompson has been there since the beginning.

"Something that was an innovative concept at the time was that youth were running the projects," said Carter-Thompson.

About 15 years ago The Adventure Group expanded its focus to include young adults. It now takes referrals from government and non-profit groups for young adults to participate in life-skills workshops and one-on-one coaching.

Helping young adults, and their children

A recent case study that followed up on 40 graduates of its programs found that 90 per cent had jobs one to two years later.

That was an important life change for the graduates, but it also had an impact on the 50 children of those 40 graduates.

"It's not just about working with the young people that we're working with today. It's about changing the future," said Carter-Thompson.

Roxanne Carter-Thompson

Roxanne Carter-Thompson has been with The Adventure Group since it started. (Angela Walker/CBC)

Carter-Thompson told Mainstreet host Angela Walker the following story to illustrate what she means.

"I had the opportunity this year to see one of the moms who came through our program," she said.

"I remember her sitting in my office looking at me, and lifted her foot up to show me the holes that were in her shoes because she didn't have the money to afford to buy shoes. And here I was standing at this graduation and we were watching her son walk across the stage and get a scholarship and she has an amazing job where she owns her own house and her own car and she's watching her son go to university."

The adventure group still runs summer programs aimed at teenagers, with the goal of bringing together young people from different backgrounds.

A 25th anniversary celebration will be held at Faith Bible Church in Charlottetown, starting at 3 p.m. Thursday.

With files from Angela Walker