Senator Montgomery Rallies with Young Advocates in Support of the “YouthBuild Act”

Originally published in Our Time Press on February 20, 2019.

Senator Velmanette Montgomery’s “New York State YouthBuild Act” (S839/A165) passed the Senate after a morning rally with young advocates from throughout the state. Member organizations from the New York State YouthBuild Coalition urged passage of this important legislation which would create a permanent funding structure to support YouthBuild programs within the New York State Department of Labor. The new grant program would enable direct state funding of existing YouthBuild programs and allow for the creation of new programs.

YouthBuild is also one of the most effective and successful diversion programs in New York State. This nationally and internationally recognized program builds a pathway of success for young people aged 16-24 who have been involved with the criminal justice system, out-of-school students, out-of-work youth.

“YouthBuild programs play a major role in fundamentally changing the way youth interact with the criminal justice system. Young people who are out of school and out of work are particularly susceptible to getting caught up in the criminal justice system, even though they have all the potential in the world,” said bill sponsor and state Senator Montgomery. “YouthBuild catches these young people when they fall off-track, providing academic, professional and leadership opportunities that allow them to thrive. These are the kinds of programs that need to be lifted up and I am proud to sponsor the YouthBuild Act which would give them access to additional funding opportunities.”

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