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January 20, 2017
Gov. Bentley awards grant to help at-risk youth in Sylacauga

MONTGOMERY— Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded a $19,500 grant to assist a program in Sylacauga in its efforts to prevent youth violence and substance abuse through education.

The Sylacauga City School System is using the grant to offer the Pathways Program with Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement Inc. The program works in after school, Saturday school, summer school and alternative educational settings in Sylacauga city schools, focusing on second-eighth graders who are at risk of failing grades or dropping out of school.

“Young students who are at risk of dropping out or heading down dangerous paths need positive and structured guidance to help them get back on the right track and find a better way forward,” Bentley said. “I commend the Sylacauga city school system and the Pathways Program for working with these students and their parents to help them avoid pitfalls later in life.”

In the next 12 months, Pathways will work with 50 at-risk youth to help them develop social and emotional skills and learn to set goals, make positive decisions and communicate effectively. It also helps students deal with peer pressure, resolve conflicts and improve social interactions, including social media interaction.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from funds made available to the state by the U.S. Justice Department. ADECA administers an array of programs in law enforcement and traffic safety, economic development, energy conservation, workforce development, water resources and recreation development.

“Our partnership with the City of Sylacauga is an important step in helping wayward students find paths to success and avoid the hardships of dropping out of school,” ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “I join with Governor Bentley in supporting this effort to help those students get their lives and grades back on track and be better prepared for the future.”

Bentley informed Sylacauga Mayor James Heigl that the grant had been approved.


Contact: Russell Sellers, Mike Presley

For more information, visit:  http://www.adeca.alabama.gov/