NYC Summer YouthWRAP participants to help with Hurricane Sandy restoration projects

July 8, 2013 Editorial Staff
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Approximately 450 teens who are currently on probation are going to be spending their summer helping to restore neighborhoods which were badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

On Monday, July 8, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs and Department of Probation Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi joined together at Barclays Center at Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues to announce the kickoff  of the NYC Summer YouthWRAP program, a seven-week program that will connect the youthful probation clients, between the ages of 14 and 18, to paid summer jobs at Hurricane Sandy restoration projects in all five boroughs.

“When we launched NYC YouthWRAP, some skeptics wondered if we’d really be able to get a bunch of teenagers out of bed at the crack of dawn on the weekend to put in a hard day’s work on some challenging projects,” said Schiraldi. “The skeptics were wrong – more than 70 percent of the [84] young people who started with the program are here with us today, and we’ve received nothing but praise from all of our partners.”

Officially initiated in January of this year, the program has already engaged 200 young people in 13,587 service hours. It is expected that an additional 70,875 hours of service will be logged during the next two months.

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At the July 8 announcement, Bloomberg stated, “Two of the most effective ways we can help young people in the justice system lead law-abiding lives are by connecting them to good jobs and providing opportunities for them to give back to their community. NYC Summer YouthWRAP achieves both of these objectives.”

Since its launch, NYC YouthWRAP participants have made a significant contribution to the Hurricane Sandy relief effort as well as to the city in general. The participants have served 32,000 meals; packed 11,000 containers of food and non-perishable items; distributed 1,000 cases of water; removed 2,000 bags of leaves from seven city parks; refurbished and painted 30 park benches; loaded 12 trucks with relief materials; and have repaired 10 houses.

“When I showed up for my first YouthWRAP orientation back in January, I never would have imagined that six months later I’d be here telling you how important this program has been for me,” said Aquarius Petteway, a YouthWRAP participant who attended the announcement today. “I’ve seen first-hand how much some people suffered because of the storm, and it feels good helping them out. YouthWRAP is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had, and I think the summer is going to be even better.”

NYC Summer YouthWRAP is funded by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Forty-six crew coaches, all of whom were selected from the NYC Summer College Aid Intern Program, will oversee the summer programs that will be taking place. With the program running until August 23, participants will work from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

In Brooklyn, the program will be hosted through Canarsie Disaster Relief Committee (My Time Inc., Canarsie), Gravesend Houses (Gravesend), Floyd Bennett Field, and Salt & Sea Mission (Coney Island).

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