In a press release, PEI Kids announced that it is the recipient of a three-year grant award from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) to support victims of gang violence in the greater Trenton area. PEI kids will lead a community collaboration called The Greater Trenton Outreach to Support Youth Victims of Gang Violence. Organizations currently committed to the project include Capital Health Regional Medical Center, Mercer County Department of Human Services, Catholic Charities, Capitol County Children’s Collaborative/Care Management Organization, The Mercer County Sherriff’s Office, Youth Advocate Programs, and YWCA Princeton’s Trenton-based ESL and job preparation program, Latinas Unidas.
Funding from the grant will allow community organizations to make accessible support services for youth impacted by gang violence and further public safety. YWCA Princeton’s outreach and service in the project are designed to empower youth through life skills training and racial justice education. Up to two youths will be identified through PEI to receive weekly tutoring and review classes with YWCA staff. The intent is to provide these youth with high school education and preparation for High School Equivalency Test (HiSET), an alternative equivalent to the high school diploma for out of school youth or adults who have not completed high school.
YWCA Princeton will also host a Youth Rally to promote racial justice education each April during the project period. The Youth Rally is intended to educate youth of color about systemic racism and the ways in which it impacts society, and is part of the annual YWCA Princeton STAND Against Racism campaign. It will also be used as a platform so that youth can express themselves.
YWCA Princeton seeks a world free from inequity. We’re grateful to be of service through this community collaboration, and are eager to get started in this important work to support the youth of Trenton.