Hynes announces new six-week program for at-risk girls at Brownsville Center

January 4, 2013 Kings County District Attorney's Office
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Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes on Friday announced a new six-week program that will take place at his Back on Track center in Brownsville.  

FEMCHO is a health and educational program for girls, created in 2010 by Tina de Lemps, which helps boost body image and self-respect while maintaining physical fitness.  FEMCHO will work with girls at the District Attorney’s school program ReStart Academy at Back on Track.

FEMCHO’s core principles are Feminine, Energetic, Mindful, Cool, Healthy and Original.  It is a program designed to develop health and confidence for girls, teens and women.  

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FEMCHO will offer their six-week session at their Back on Track location, starting on Jan. 8.  This special version of FEMCHO, called Girls at Risk, is based on the core principles of Foundation, Education, Mentoring, Challenges, Hopefulness and Opportunity.

District Attorney Hynes said, “We are always looking for innovative ways to help our youth move forward, away from a life of crime.  It is important to reach these young girls at an early age.  

By providing them with a strong foundation, focusing on education and mentorship, these girls realize that they are not alone and learn how to cope.  I am proud to collaborate with FEMCHO on such an influential program.”

 Tina de Lemps, founder of FEMCHO said, “As I’ve worked with women, I began to notice that in spite of the enormous opportunities and options available to women today, they suffered from the same or worse self-esteem and body issues than I did 50 years ago.  I believe that our program will be meaningful to the Project ReStart participants and I hope that the program will have a positive impact on their lives in some way.  By the end of the program, the girls will learn how to overcome challenges and they will have the tools that they did not realize they had.”

As part of the six-week session, the participants will dance, move and engage in fitness while discussing topics important to today’s youth.  Each week a facilitator will lead the girls through a particular aspect of the FEMCHO program, one of their core words.  The facilitators will help to engage the girls in “Girl Talk”.  

The focus of the program will be helping the girls create the “best version of you,” asking them how they can be/do their best.

Some of the activities during these sessions can include T-shirt making, poster making, or original choreography.  Every class ends with each participant extending a compliment to one another.

Back on Track is a juvenile justice initiative aimed at steering at-risk young people away from criminal activity.  The program provides the help the wayward teens need to stay off the streets, stay out of jail and get Back On Track.  

It serves as a one-stop shop for Brownsville residents, ages seven to 21, who are chronically truant, involved with the criminal justice system, or considered at risk for dropping out of school.  A full-time social worker works with the participants and their families to make sure they get the assistance they need.  

Services offered include parenting workshops, GED classes, computer and office skills training, vocational assistance, CDL and drivers’ education, adult and continuing education, ESL, and access to medical, dental, and mental health services and substance abuse treatment.

ReStart Academy is the educational component of Back on Track, for students ages 13 to 16, who are in need of a school setting that encourages and enhances attendance and the quality of education for youth.  These students have been truant and have been held back one or more times.  

The program provides assistance to help the students successfully pass their middle school exam, so they can qualify to enroll in high school.  Services include full-time social workers, guidance counselors and mentors, who are available daily to assist students to overcome those personal issues that may impede their learning.

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