Reemphasizing the commitment of the Administration to stopping youth violence, Governor Deval Patrick and Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz visited Safe and Successful Youth Initiative Programs (SSYI) in Springfield and Boston this month.
Launched in 2011, SSYI has provided over $18 million in grants to the cities of Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Worcester and Springfield. Since then, in these cities, youth homicides have dropped 25% and youth victims of aggravated assaults have dropped by 19%.
Speaking frankly, a young Springfield man addressed a crowd and noted that it was the second chance he’d received in the program that allowed him to be alive today. In Boston, Police Commissioner Bill Evans spoke passionately about how important connections to caring adults can be in the lives of many of the young people he sees today. The Commissioner went on to share that, after the loss of both his parents at a young age, it was other adults in his community that took an interest in him and pushed him to succeed.
In his remarks to young men, local providers, and public officials in Springfield, Governor Patrick said:
“All of us are hungry for a safe and secure community, including every one of these young men. And their leadership and kindness and vision and humanity is something I saw on clear display [when we spoke] in the other room. And that is called up and celebrated and encouraged in this program. And that’s really all it’s about.”
Zakim Goes Green For Mental Health Month posted on May 22
Last year, when Josh Powers saw the Zakim Bridge lit up in blue for autism awareness, he immediately knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to see the bridge lit with green lights to raise awareness around mental health. “I want more people to …Continue Reading Zakim Goes Green For Mental Health Month
Guest Post From Carolyn Graves posted on May 19
Business owner Carolyn Graves, owner of Cakes & Islands, talks about overcoming her physical challenge to realize her sweet dream. I was born deaf. But with the use of hearing aids, I had some hearing. Without them I couldn’t hear anything at all. My parents …Continue Reading Guest Post From Carolyn Graves
DYS Statewide Event Spotlights Youth Success posted on May 14
A common challenge for many adolescents is finding healthy outlets where they can explore their interests in constructive ways. For many youth who come into our care and custody, individual access to healthy outlets can sometimes be a significant challenge. One way the Department of …Continue Reading DYS Statewide Event Spotlights Youth Success