Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker and Deputy Mayor Margarita Muñiz were presented with a check for $25,000 from the Nicholson Foundation to help fund grassroots programs that help juvenile ex-offenders rejoin society and rebuild their lives. The money will be dispersed through Rutgers T.E.E.M. (Transitional Education and Employment Management) Gateway, a juvenile mentoring and support organization, to six neighborhood groups. Entitled "The Juvenile Mentoring and Support Services Initiative," the programs also include video production, life skills training, academics, and boxing.
"Young ex-offenders are at the greatest risk for recidivism and have the greatest need for mentoring and support," Mayor Booker said. "When a youth turns to crime and violence, they will only plunge further into the downward spiral of crime and waste that promising life unless the community intercedes. These programs will help juvenile ex-offenders return to society, rebuild their lives, and become productive members of our community."
Ranging in awards from $2,500 to $4,500, the six mini-grants are the first phase of a two-part grant distribution that will total $50,000.
As part of Mayor Booker's 100-Day Plan, the City, working in collaboration with Rutgers University, T.E.E.M. Gateway, the Newark Public Schools, Newark Now, and the Nicholson Foundation, began developing this grant program to address the issue which stressed the importance of providing meaningful rehabilitation opportunities for juvenile ex-offenders. These include job training, mentoring, counseling, anger management, life skills and family development, as well as GED preparation and literacy classes.
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