City YouthBuild Programs Get $2.1 Million in Fed Grants
Thursday, August 30, 2012 • 8:38am
PATERSON, NJ - Two Paterson non-profit agencies will receive a total of $2.11 million in federal funding to support programs designed to help dropouts earn a General Education diploma, federal officials announced on Wednesday.
The New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) was awarded $1,021,950 and St. Paul's Community Development Corporation was awarded $1,089,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor.
That represented about half the money allocated to New Jersey under the YouthBuild program, according to the labor department's press release. An agency in Elizabeth received $1.1 million and one in Camden got $1 million, the press release said.
Nationwide, more than $75 million in YouthBuild grants were awarded, according to the labor department,
“Too many of America’s kids never get a chance to recover from misguided decisions they make under difficult circumstances,” said Rep, Bill Pascrell Jr., who joined over 70 of his colleagues in signing a letter supporting funding for the YouthBuild program.
“YouthBuild gives kids a second chance,'' Pascrell added. "It provides an alternate route for kids who drop out of school, feel pressure to join a gang or consider a life of crime over an education or training. Knowing how successful this program has been in Paterson and knowing the challenges that YouthBuild has helped so many young people overcome, I am thrilled with this newest round of funding.''
YouthBuild is a nonresidential, community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training to at-risk individuals ages 16-24. Many participants have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, have dropped out of high school, or are otherwise at-risk of failing to reach key educational milestones and opportunities that lead to career fulfillment.
“Youth Build has been an important part of the NJCDC and our work in Paterson since 1998," said NJCDC founder and CEO Bob Guarasci. "Today’s decision to award us a new $1 million dollar grant means that we can give more young adults a second chance. We are grateful for Congressman Pascrell’s steadfast support of YouthBuild and NJCDC’s work.”
The Paterson Public Schools recently entered a partnership with NJCDC to set up a YouthBuild Academy for 25 at-risk teens from district schools.