By Kiarra Solomon
Throughout Pennsylvania, hundreds of thousands of youth (18 and under) have had some sort of contact with the law per year. And although the numbers of youth delinquency are down significantly, according to the State’s Commission on Crime and Delinquency website, the numbers are still high.
Interaction with the law for many of these youth goes beyond whatever crime was allegedly committed, and can begin to significantly impact their education, causing many to fail to graduate from high school, or go on to higher education.
Power in Education is aiming to alleviate this problem. The Philadelphia based non-profit organization was founded four years ago by former School District of Philadelphia employee, Stan Williams, four years ago, and works directly with delinquent juveniles to get them back on track and moving toward achieving their educational goals.
“Young people today aren’t given a second chance. The goal of Power in Education is to give them one”, said Williams.
Power in Education serves youth ages 14-21 year round, working with them to earn either a GED, a high school diploma, or enroll in vocational school. Youth who have contact with the justice system in Philadelphia are referred to Power In Education either by their schools or some other child services agency. Currently the organization has maintained a 25 percent recidivism rate. To date 80 percent of Power in Education clients have earned a high school diploma or GED.
“I never had any contact with the law growing up”, said Williams, “but I grew up as a foster child, and it is important to me to help to build strong young people, and rebuild communities.”
In addition to the educational support services, Power in Education also offers Fathers First, a fatherhood support group, life skills training, job readiness, financial literacy classes, parenting workshops, and single mother support groups. The organization is dedicated to maintaining the anonymity of any of its clients, in order to foster strong, healthy, and trusting relationships.
To find out more about Power in Education, or to volunteer or support them visit www.PowerinEducation.org.