Bronx program works to restore youth impacted by crime
A Bronx program is giving kids and young adults in the borough who have been impacted by crime an opportunity to build a future and career.
The Mosholu Montefiore Community Center’s Restorative Justice Program has already seen results in some of their participants such as Jayden, who’s been with the program from the beginning.
Jayden was known by his peers, family and teachers as someone who was reserved and quiet, but the local program has helped him come out of his shell.
“As far as that Jayden… a lot of nerves, more quiet, more of a quiet person,” said Jayden. “Now, I know how to speak to everybody… I know how to ask for help.”
Domonic Smith built this program specifically to help those between the ages of 16 and 21 who have been impacted by crime. The program doesn’t only help these people get back on their feet and on the right path to a career through learning skills, but also provides Bronx young adults with someone to share their feelings with.
“We do OSHA training, barbershop training, as well as other internship programs here… culinary arts, things like that, to try and help them get some sort of economic assistance without doing something illegal,” said Smith.
Jayden is currently in retail training and will soon take a test that could get him a retail certification to include on his resume.
Funding for the program came in, thanks to help from Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz. These funds allow all of the events, speakers and training that kids experience to be absolutely free of charge for them.
The Restorative Justice Program meets at their current DeKalb Avenue location, as well as in Baychester, Co-op City, and the Evander Childs School Campus.