(WBNG Binghamton) Youth in our community face mounting challenges including poverty, mental health issues, substance use/abuse, and family violence.
According to a news release ,New York State Kid’s Well-Being Indicators Clearinghouse shows Broome County young people fair worse than the rest of the state on a number of important indicators:
• In Broome County, 24.4% of children, birth – 17% live in poverty compared to 22.8% statewide.
• Youth, 15-19 years, are hospitalized for self-inflicted injuries at a rate more than 20% higher than the state average.
• More than 100 young people between the ages of 16 and 21 are arrested every year in Broome County for drug use, sale, or possession.
• In 2011, more than 1,700 children were found to be the victims of some form of child abuse, neglect, or maltreatment representing a rate more than double the state average.
The Broome County Youth Collaborative is a pilot project being led by United Way of Broome County and Cornell Cooperative Extension Broome County to strengthen existing youth serving organizations and create new opportunities for professional development, resource sharing, and youth engagement.
Funded in part by the Community Fund of the Community Foundation for South Central New York, the Harriet Dickenson Fund of the Community Foundation for South Central New York, and the United Way of Broome County, the BC Youth Collaborative is working with five (5) area after school programs, Broome County Urban League, Boys and Girls Club of Western Broome, YWCA of Binghamton and Broome County at Carlisle and Saratoga’s Afterschool Programs, and the Haven. Each partner will receive a small grant to support youth programming, as well as ongoing technical assistance and professional development. CCE-BC serves as the training and technical assistance provider on the project and will work with these five agencies to implement Cornell University’s 4-H Signature Program, Youth Community Action.
“We see this as a great opportunity to bring people together to have a positive impact on the young people in our community.” said Alan Hertel, Executive Director of the United Way of Broome County. “Our mission at United Way is to mobilize the caring power of the community to create lasting change and this project will do that.”
The first professional development training, Advancing Youth Development Basics Plus, is Friday, February 28. 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and is open to all youth-serving/ youth-supporting organizations and individuals in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, and Tioga counties. The training will be held at CCE-BC, 840 Upper Front Street, Binghamton. Registration is $10 and covers all training materials and lunch. To register for the training, call CCE-BC at 607-772-8953.