Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $850,000)
Through the Edward Byrne Memorial Congressionally Recommended Awards program, the Office of Justice Programs helps communities improve the capacity of local justice systems and supports training and technical assistance programs and other efforts that strategically target local needs. This program is authorized to organizations identified in the Text and Joint Explanatory Statement, Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009.
The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) of Northwest Indiana successfully provides educational programs and recreational activities to children and their families in the city of Gary Northwest Indiana. The YWCA's Youth Program, 'Yes We Can!' provides after-school and summer activities designed to improve academic achievement and decrease at-risk behaviors for children living in disadvantaged, low-income communities impacted by health and educational attainment disparities. The YWCA's 'Yes We Can!' youth program will serve 100 unduplicated children, ages 5 to 18. During the school year, students from grades K-8, attend daily after-school tutoring sessions and recreational activities designed to create a safe-haven for learning and shaping youth ideologies to live healthy and positive lifestyles. During the summer, youth and their families will participate in personal development and recreational activities designed to strengthen family bonds. OJJDP grant funds will expand YWCA programs to include the design and implementation of a new after-school program focusing on prevention and intervention for at-risk teenaged girls. The 'Yes We Can!' program will contribute to the development of collaborative initiatives with community organizations and resources to enhance the support system for youth living in at-risk communities. In compliance, the YWCA is prepared to collect data on all the above goals and performance measures. The YWCA currently has software systems in place that track youth participation and academic achievement scores.