Mayor Menino Gives Youth Opportunities

New Dudley Square Headquarters Provides Critical Services for Court-Involved Youth:Case Management, Education, Transitional Jobs & Placement Mayor Thomas M. Menino today joined Senator Jarrett Barrios, Representative Gloria Fox, Department of Youth Services Commissioner Jane Tewksbury, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and several youth and staff from Youth Opportunity (YO) Boston, to celebrate the opening of YO’s new headquarters in Roxbury’s Dudley Square. “Youth Opportunity Boston might have a new home, but their mission is still the same – to empower and motivate the most-challenged youth in our city,” Mayor Menino said. “YO is a turn around program – we will not give up on these young people, if they will not give up on themselves.” YO Boston, now entirely funded by the City of Boston and State Shannon Grant funds from the Executive Office of Public Safety, is a one-stop job and educational center for the city’s most-challenged youth. Court-involved youth receive case management, on-site educational services (both GED and BPS high school programming) and transitional employment and placement services. In its seven years of operation, YO Boston has served more than 3,400 youth – more than 600 in the last year alone. “More than 600 youth have been assisted with intensive case management, in the last year over 300 have had paid work experiences though YO’s transitional jobs programs, and over 50 participated in on-site educational activities to complete their high school education.” said Constance J. Doty, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Jobs and Community Services, which operates YO Boston. “In Boston we are determined to offer a first-rate program for those who need a second chance.” In the past two years, YO Boston has altered its focus and now only serves court-involved youth. The program is a critical component of the city’s mission to reduce youth violence and incarceration recidivism rates by providing young adults with academic and vocational skill-building activities leading to employment. YO works to elevate public awareness about the importance of structured support paired with educational and workforce development services for youth and adults re-entering the community. “Our unique array of services and many partnerships allow us to serve young people in a productive manner – helping to get them on a positive path to making better decisions for themselves and for their community – while having the assistance of law enforcement, educators, and the community partners, to keep young people focused,” said Michael Mitchell, Director, YO Boston. Youth Opportunity is operated by the Mayor’s Office of Jobs and Community Services (JCS) in collaboration with the Boston Police Department, Department of Youth Services, Adult and Juvenile Probation and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office. Educational services are provided by the Boston Public Schools and ESAC. JCS is a division of the Boston Redevelopment Authority. ###