WHITE PLAINS, NY – On Monday, Sept. 9, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced a $225,000 state grant to support the Westchester County Youth Bureau (WCYB) Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Program (SRAEP).
Leader Stewart-Cousins was joined by State Senator Shelley Mayer, New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, Mount Vernon Mayor Andre Wallace, and key stakeholders. The state funding will allow the WCYB to partner with the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau, the Nepperhan Community Center in Yonkers, the New Rochelle Youth Bureau, the Peekskill Youth Bureau, and the White Plains Youth Bureau to operate its SRAEP in each of the targeted cities, which will ultimately increase the likelihood of those youth achieving safe, healthy lifestyles.
NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “Education is essential in making healthy choices, so I am pleased that I helped secure a $225,000 state grant to support the efforts of the Westchester County Youth Bureau to ensure our youth are set up for success and equipped with the resources to lead safe, healthy lives.”
County Executive George Latimer said, “Very simply, New York State has changed its whole attitude in supporting local efforts under the new leadership of Andrea Stewart-Cousins in the state senate. What we’re here today to celebrate is an allocation of money through the state government, a total of $225,000, that will be channeled through the Westchester County Youth Bureau bound for our five urban cities where the pressures on the youth of today are very much at hand. To be able to target money where it is most needed is really essential. Not just to target money for the sake of spending money, but for programs that we think will help youth with at-risk behaviors get in the best positive light, and the best positive path going forward.”
Director of the Westchester County Youth Bureau Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden said, “We thank the Senate Majority Leader and her colleagues for supporting our efforts to reduce health risk behaviors amongst youth, and in particular provide financial resources to Westchester County’s high need communities. By targeting the communities of Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Peekskill, White Plains, and Yonkers, each Youth Bureau and the Nepperhan Community Center will contribute to the state and County-wide efforts of reducing wide racial, ethnic, economic and geographic disparities and promoting health equity across vulnerable populations.”
State Senator Shelley Mayer said, “There is something very special when you have the opportunity to be able to have an effect on a young person’s life. It is, for the giver as well as the receiver, a transformative moment. I am so proud to be a part of a Senate that is fighting for every young person in New York State. It is our mission and it is what we are here to do.”
State Senator Peter Harckham said, “I've always been supportive of the great work done by the Westchester County Youth Bureau and we're deeply appreciative of the funding. We thank Leader Senator Stewart-Cousins for always thinking of the young people in our county and always looking out for their best interests."
Mount Vernon Mayor Andre Wallace said, “We need to make sure that we are doing everything we can to give our children the tools they need to succeed. Our children are tomorrow. Those are the ones who are going to stand on our shoulders as we stand on the shoulders of the ones who came before us. So it important that we keep our shoulders broad, and strong.”
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said, “We all have a stake in young people making good choices. Our communities are only going to achieve their full potential when all of the young people within them have the opportunity to be their best. I don’t view this as resources simply directed to one vulnerable subset, I think of this as an investment in the lives of our communities that we share together.”
About New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins
In 2019, Andrea Stewart-Cousins made history when she became the first woman to lead a legislative house in New York’s Capitol. Stewart-Cousins was elected by her colleagues to serve as Leader of the Senate Democratic Conference in December 2012, becoming the first female leader of a legislative conference in New York State history. She was first elected to the State Senate in 2006 and currently represents Greenburgh, part of White Plains, part of New Rochelle, part of Yonkers and Scarsdale. Learn more about Leader Stewart-Cousins here.
About Westchester County
Westchester County, located in the heart of the historic Hudson Valley, covers 500 square miles and has a population of just under a million. Originally home to Native Americans, who were members of the Lenape tribe, it is today a rich mix of many cultures and landscapes. The County is a blend of bustling cities, quaint villages and picturesque towns as well as open spaces and a network of beautiful parks. Westchester is made up of 6 cities, 19 towns and 20 villages. Westchester County is known for top-notch public schools, and a high quality of life. The County is also an intellectual capital, boasting a highly educated workforce, competitive colleges and universities, Fortune 500 companies, world changing non-profits, and cutting-edge research centers. Westchester is led by County Executive George Latimer, who took office in January 2018 as the ninth County Executive. Using inclusion and openness as a foreground, Latimer is fighting to make Westchester a destination for all people to live, work and enjoy. Learn more about Westchester County by visiting www.westchestergov.com
About Westchester County Youth Bureau
With its location in Westchester County Executive George Latimer’s office, the Youth Bureau functions as an important outlet for the County’s families and children to receive support ensuring their well-being both financially and psychologically. The Bureau serves to create opportunities for youth to have easy access to programs that answer the needs of those from birth to twenty-one, and their respective families. The Youth Bureau also provides financial resources to temporarily house and reintegrate runaway and homeless shelter residents back to their families and communities through the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA). The distribution of resources to state and county programs allows for the funding of over 115 programs offered through nonprofit organizations and other initiatives.