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BronxConnect focuses on turning around lives of those at risk

Posted: Updated:
MOTT HAVEN -

A South Bronx program is turning lives around for some who may have otherwise found themselves behind bars.

BronxConnect is a community-based alternative incarceration program that aims to get people on the right track by teaching job skills and working with case workers.

Elijah Gonzalez says he imagines a very different life without BronxConnect.

"If I didn't come here I know exactly where I would be and I would not want to be there," says Gonzalez.

Program manager Jose Marte's son spent nine years behind bars, but now works with Gonzalez, encouraging him to be his best self.

Organizers says a recent study found 90 percent of kids in the program upon completion went at least five years without a felony conviction.

BronxConnect recently received a $1 million grant to expand its program to other communities.

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