The Capital City Youth Violence Coalition has assumed two roles as it worked collaboratively over the past year. The Board labored to develop new recommendations and implement some of the very same proposals that were discussed in the previous year’s report.
First, it is worth noting that the Board has followed two strategies as part of this implementation plan. The leaders understand that there are a lot of resources even in the most challenged community; and, if the right people are united around the table, those local resources can be compiled and leveraged to support community interests. These resources include material support such as funding and facilities, as well as more abstract assets such as influence, knowledge, and expertise. The CCYVC has effectively tapped into these existing resources during the last year.
In addition, the leaders of the CCYVC understand that the best method to attract external resources is to tap into the vast reservoir of expertise that lies on, and more importantly off campus. The Board’s success to date is in part the result of good information, data, and research. At times, this comes from professionals who have worked with youth for years, or former program participants who share their perspective. At other times, it comes from the research literature, and often it is derived from a combination of all three.
In partnership with the Princeton Area Community Foundation and the Trenton 9th Grade Academy, Connect Trenton serves as a referral source and connection point for out-of-school youth services for students at Trenton High School – 9th Grade Academy in order to increase student attendance, increase student academic achievement, increase student safety, provide support to school staff and create an access point to community partners.
Trenton RISE Center
Trenton RISE is a community based youth center, which is a collaborative project between the Trenton Recreation, Natural Resources & Culture Department, The Trenton Police Department, and The College of New Jersey Department of Counselor Education. The purpose of the center is to provide a safe, comfortable, enriching after school environment for youth ages 12-18 in the city of Trenton. The center provides computer programming classes, skill development programs, personal development courses, and career/college advisement. These programs also include activities to relax and de-stress, such as acapella, fitness classes, meditation sessions, book club, video games, board games, and cooking lessons.