ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford Chamber of Commerce has held a meeting about the city’s youth.

The conference focused on the future of the area’s kids and improving their livelihood. Several organizations like Rockford Public Schools (RPS) and the Rockford Police Department (RPD) updated the Chamber on several programs.

A main focus was the new mentor program between RPS and RPD, which would see officers connect with students. Rockford Police Chief Carla Redd said that the program is all about giving kids hope for the future.

“Having individuals with lived experiences that can relate to the kids and some of the issues that they’re going through, and those individuals with lived experience can definitely share stories on how they overcame,” Redd said. “So, there is a lot of training that will be in involved in that in reference to being able to connect the mentors with service providers in the community so they have their appropriate referral sources for the youth.”

The mentoring program will be brought before the RPS board in their September meeting.