The Miami Valley Urban League is focusing on those who have come from the juvenile justice system for its first major program since the civil rights organization’s 2012 inception.
The league is recruiting youths ages 14-17 and young adults 18-24 for its Urban Youth Empowerment Program, which is designed to help those who have come in contact with the juvenile justice system be productive citizens with positive lifestyles.
MVUL will host a recruiting session from 3:30 to 5 p.m. today at the MVUL’s office on the second floor of the Opportunity Center, 907 W. Fifth St.
“If we can turn these kids around before they hit the adult system then we can change our environment. But, if you wait until they get to the adult system, it is so much harder for them to get back on track because the barriers and the challenges are much more difficult to remove,” said Rea Waldon, MVUL’s executive director.
The program is funded by a $500,000 U.S. Department of Labor grant and through funding by the National Urban League, according to Waldon. The grant money will be dispersed over a 3-year period and will allow the MVUL to enroll approximately 100 people.
Those seeking to apply must have been involved with the juvenile justice system within the 12 months of their enrollment into UYEP, no adult convictions, and must live in the MVUL service area.
Participants will have case managers, opportunities for financial incentives, mentorships, job placement assistance and customized educational programs, including certifications, according to Waldon.
James Cole, Montgomery County Juvenile Court administrator, said programs like this are key to rehabilitating youth who may be going down the wrong path.
“It is tough for young people to get into any type of occupation, with some of the obstacles that are placed in front of them due to their juvenile record,” Cole. “If you look at any particular application either for jobs or college applications, even the military, one of the questions that is always asked is, have you ever been adjudicated as a juvenile of a crime.”
For more information, contact the MVUL’s office at 226-1513 ext.10 or email Theresa Lane, program director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO GO
Who: Miami Valley Urban League
What: Urban Youth Empowerment Program for youth, ages 14-17, and young adults, ages 18-24, who have come in contact with the juvenile justice system within the last 12 months.
When: A recruiting session will be held 3:30 to 5 p.m. today
Where: Second floor of the Opportunity Center, 907 W. Fifth St.