Albany County announces youth programs to offset gun violence

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A kid with a basketball

A kid from an orphanage hiding a smile behind a basketball in 2015. (Deondre Ng / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County Executive Dan McCoy announced Tuesday that the county will partner with five local organizations to create rewarding new summer youth programs, intending to offset violent activity in the area.

“Albany County continues to fight a battle with two fronts: The ongoing COVID crisis and the spike in shootings in Albany, both of which have tragically taken too many lives and done untold harm to the community. I’m proud to take another step forward in addressing that gun violence by investing in these summer youth programs for at-risk youth,” McCoy said. “Law enforcement alone cannot address this issue. We need to invest in rewarding opportunities for our young people to learn and grow in safe environments, and we can do that through sports, physical fitness, the arts, mentorship, career development, and more.”

McCoy and Albany County Legislature Chairman Joyce said two of the youth programs—Jamil Hood’s House of Hoops and Just Be Ready—will focus on drills, basketball skills, and mentorship for at-risk youth.

Mission of Courageous Hospitality will focus on character and community service in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. Programs will also target physical fitness through outdoor games, yoga, and mediation.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Capital District will offer a five-week-long Urban Leadership Summer Teen Internship, providing career development, college prep workshops, computer literacy, and leadership skills. Recreation and performing arts will also be core parts of the program.

Last, Our Art Class will offer therapeutic workshops to Arbor Hill families through painting, gardening, and other forms of art.

“We spell out our priorities in our budgeting,” Joyce said. “We had the foresight in 2019 to move funding to our Department for Children, Youth, and Families, because we know how important youth programming is in our communities. We’re very fortunate to be able to provide these resources to the amazing people who can implement them in a productive and safe manner.”

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