TRENTON – Legislation Senator John Girgenti sponsored to establish a grant program to benefit youth mentoring programs that focus on turning kids away from gang-related activity was today passed by the Senate.
Girgenti held the Paterson Village Initiative as the type of program model that state grants could help succeed. The Paterson Village Initiative is a collaborative effort between city agencies, schools, faith-based communities and law enforcement to develop and maximize community resources that can prevent young people from falling into trouble, particularly with gangs. The Initiative centers around creating community-based antiviolence activities, community service projects and recreational and educational programs to enhance the quality of life for Paterson’s youth. Girgenti has been working with local officials – including Paterson Mayor Jeffery Jones – to jumpstart the program.