By JENNIFER BOGDAN, Staff Writer at The Press of Atlantic City | Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013 7:12 pm
At-risk Atlantic City youth will have access to a new computer laboratory — the result of a $38,357 grant from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.Youth Advocate Programs Inc. was presented with a check from the authority on Monday. The funding through CRDA’s Capital Grant program allowed the organization to buy several laptop and desktop computers and software for an initiative intended to make technology available to city children and young adults.
Based in Harrisburg, Pa., with a local chapter on Atlantic Avenue in Atlantic City, Youth Advocate Programs said technology programs have shown a high success rate in keeping adolescents from engaging in criminal behavior. The local chapter of the nonprofit serves 150 at-risk Atlantic City youths, including Jose Alvarez and Shawn Brown, both 18-year-olds from Atlantic City.
Alvarez said he goes to the Atlantic City site each Wednesday as he works toward his GED. Brown has just started attending Youth Advocate Programs and said the computers there would provide him with a place to take an online criminal justice class through Raritan Valley Community College. Otherwise, he’d have to go to a library to access to the class, he said.
“I like it better here. I know people here,” he said.
“CRDA is proud to partner with Youth Advocate Programs to be able to invest in our most valuable assets, the youth of Atlantic City, particularly those who are in need of a second chance to become productive citizens of our city,” Executive Director John Palmieri said in a written statement.
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