Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $250,000)
The OJJDP FY 09 Earmarks Programs further the Department's mission by providing grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance authorized by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended, to organizations identified in the Explanatory Statement Regarding H.R. 1105 (Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009), 155 Cong. Rec. H1653 (daily ed. Feb. 23, 2009) (statement by Rep. Obey, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations of the House).
The City of Richmond has a recent history of extreme violence, involving youth between the ages of 6 and 26 years old. Its per capita murder rate is 9th in the State of California. The violence is symptomatic of a community where truancy and drop out rates are as high as 30% among high school students. Inner city schools have abysmal records of performance and many youth fail to graduate because they can not pass the mandatory California High School Exit Exam. The Richmond Youth Academy breaks this cycle among its annual enrollment of 50 cadets. Participation in the Academy is training and preparation for a career in fire-fighting, with attendant classes focused on tutoring, computer literacy, safety training, emergency preparation and life skills. Richmond Youth Academy is coordinated by the Richmond Black Firefighters Association as evidence of their commitment to serve as role models for troubled youth and increase access to their profession for minority students. The ten-month program encourages positive social behavior and making a contribution to the community to improve the quality of life for others. Participants not only graduate from high school but have a career objective to pursue upon completion of the Academy. NCA/NCF