BENEFITING: BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF ALACHUA COUNTY INC
Gainesville, -- Fifty young people "at risk" of gang involvement in alachua County will be steered away from negative and potentially violent behavior with the help of a new gang prevention initiative.
Operated by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Alachua County, the GANG PREVENTION through TARGETED OUTREACH (GPTTO) initiative offers positive, structured activities for these young people in their non-school hours, while aiming to measurably improve their school performance.
"Gangs fulfill young people's needs for belonging, competence, usefulness and influence," said Keith Blanchard, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club. "The GANG PREVENTION through TARGETED OUTREACH initiative provides adolescents with constructive alternatives, enabling them to resist the temptation of gang involvement."
Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and administered by Boys & Girls Clubs of America, "GANG PREVENTION through TARGETED OUTREACH" recruits adolescents via referrals from courts, police, school and other community agencies. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Alachua County is one of 18 Clubs nationwide selected to implement this initiative.
"The Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County was chosen because of its proven record of providing effective youth development programs, and its commitment to addressing the growing gang problem in the communiy. The success of the Club's efforts will serve as a model for other Boys & Girls Clubs interested in starting a gang prevention initiative.
Additional funding is need to expand our program and help reach even more youth in our community.