Archive for the ‘Mayor's Anti-Gang Event’ Category

Mayor’s Anti-Gang Career Day
August 25, 2010

I moderated The Mayor’s Anti-Gang Career Day again this year. The program has been around for 3 years now and I really feel like the adults involved are doing good things for our youth headed in the wrong direction. The program’s main purpose is to provide delinquency prevention and gang intervention services for youth and families in Houston, Harris and surrounding counties.

This year, about 50 youth participants heard from panelists: including a professional athlete, a musician, graphic artist, fire fighter, police officer, youth service counselor and an elected official. The kids weren’t just “talked TO” … they were allowed to ask career questions and mingle afterward.

Picture blurred for privacy of individuals.

The event also featured vendors from area colleges and universities, businesses, the armed forces, and the Houston Fire Department.

“Each of our panelists has a unique story, so we encourage them to share the life experiences they faced – good or bad – that got them where they are today,” said Patricia Harrington, Director of the Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office.  “It reinforces to young people that any obstacle can be faced.”

Panelist answering questions.

Before I left, I asked the counselors why the kids join gangs and they said, “Because it’s the lifestyle they are raised in.” The kids admitted to me that they, “don’t have hope.” But, the people that you see in the picture above are trying to change that. They took time out of their busy schedules to show the kids firsthand, that there IS hope and that people DO care about them. I saw some of the same kids that I had seen in previous years and that worried me. One of the counselors told me that some enjoy coming back to this summer program though. It’s something positive, it gives them a sense of belonging and it keeps them out of trouble, I’m told. I was happy to hear.

Upcoming Event: Anti-Gang Career Day
August 3, 2009

MAYOR’S ANTI-GANG OFFICE HOSTS YOUTH CAREER EXPLORATION DAY
Moderated by Jennifer Reyna of KPRC TV

The City of Houston Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office will host a youth career day on Thursday, August 6 from 10 am until 12 noon at Ripley House, 4410 Navigation. As part of the Anti-Gang Office’s summer youth enrichment program, this is the second year the event has been held.  About 50 youth participants from all over the city will hear from ten panelists that include Hilton Koch of Hilton Furniture, professional boxer Juan Diaz, Houston City Council Member Wanda Adams, and Peter Difilippantonio, CEO of Jobbing.com.

“Each of our panelists has a unique story, so we encourage them to share the life experiences they faced – good or bad – that got them where they are today,” said Patricia Harrington, Director of the Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office.  “It reinforces to young people that any obstacle can be faced.”

In addition to learning about the various professions of the panelists, participants will also receive information on the types of jobs that will be most in demand within the next five to ten years and how to plan for education and training for those positions.

The Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office provides delinquency prevention and gang intervention services for youth and families in Houston, Harris and surrounding counties.

I’m excited to be a part of the Anti-Gang Career Day for the 2nd year in a row. If you search my blog entries you can find pictures from last year. I hope to follow up with some of the children and bring you results of the impact our day had on them. For this year, our focus is to answer questions and talk with troubled teens about their future. I love working in this area because it is such a crucial time in people’s lives…it gives us the ability to really change one’s journey. It’s never too late to reach out. -Jen

Making A Difference, One Child At A Time
August 17, 2008

The Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office is a division which sets up programs that provide counseling, court based-assessment, gang education and awareness training, job readiness training and more.

The Anti-Gang Division invited me to speak on July 31st, to a group of children involved with the Juvenile Accountability Court Program.  The summer session included a group of children that ranged from middle school to 11th grade with minor violations. The children meet once a week for six weeks, learning about various topics. Our visit focused on Career Day. I was a guest among 10 other professionals ranging from a teacher, professional boxer, councilwoman, pilot, military officer, police officer, banker, marketing manager, counselor, and job recruiter. As you can see, the children were exposed to a wide variety of speakers from the Houston community.

As I looked out in front of me, I saw about 60 kids who were well-behaved, well-groomed, alert and interactive. I knew that each child had a story and that they would continue to make choices in their growing years. Hopefully, our stories and inspiration had a positive influence on these innocent lives.

(Professional Boxer – Juan Diaz)

The counselors and adults who worked with the children displayed a caring attitude and were very connected and dedicated. I think this type of program will save many kids from making bigger errors in the future. For every party involved…..way to go!