Philly gets funds for youth anti-volence initiative

Efforts to stem youth violence in Philadelphia are getting an almost $1million boost from the federal government.

Members of the Power Corps, which is receiving some of the fund, recited their mantra at the announcement of the awards.

Joining the group, an interactive AmeriCorps initiative that gives young men and women work experience and job placement support, has changed his life, said Javon Namacian.  

“Before, I didn’t recycle, threw stuff on the ground paid it no mind,” said Namacian, who has been working in city parks and planting trees. “Once you get in the field and start to work, you think why would I throw something on the ground? I now have to turn around and come pick it up. How much sense does this make?”

Working on violence prevention is better than dealing with it after the fact, said Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel.

“When we have a 10-year-old that comes to school with a pocket knife, and we’re arresting that child taking him to the district, giving him or her a record, that’s not the right place to go,” Bethel said.

The three awards are designed to improve school safety and stem the “school to prison pipeline” while improving educational opportunities for young people.

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