July 27, 2010

Just Weeks After Visit To Ryan Community Center, Gillibrand Announces Key Senate Panel Approves $1 Million For Rochester After-School Program For At-Risk Youth

Federal Dollars Would Help Combat Rochester’s High Poverty Rate, Placing up to 100 Teenagers In After-School Jobs

Washington, DC – Just weeks after her visit to the Ryan Community Center, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $1 million to provide after-school job training and employment counseling for high school students. Senator Gillibrand aggressively lobbied members of the Appropriations Committee to include funding for the project in this year’s spending bill.

“Earlier this month, I heard first hand from young people about the importance of this program,” Senator Gillibrand said. “We can never allow the lure of gangs to surpass opportunities for our children to grow and achieve their full potential. Too many communities are seeing increasing gang activity and the violent crime that comes with it. It’s time to fight back with better resources for our law enforcement, tougher penalties to lock up offenders, and positive role models to guide our children to success and unite communities to keep our families safe.”

This targeted federal funding for the City of Rochester After-School Jobs Program would provide after-school job placement support services to up to 100 Rochester teenagers, over the next two years – helping the city attain higher levels of educational and employment success amongst youths. Students would be exposed to employment at a young age, making it easier for them to find and keep a job throughout their lives. The program would also take participating teenagers off the streets between the weekday hours of 3 pm and 6 pm, when youth crime rates are especially high.

Only 53-56 percent of high school students in the Rochester City School District graduate, and a mere 2 percent of 14-18 year olds participate in Rochester After-School Academy programs. By providing this support service, the city can attain higher levels of educational and employment success amongst youths.

The legislation will next head to the floor for a full vote before the Senate. The bill will then proceed to the House-Senate Conference Committee, before final passage in both chambers and then to the President to become law.