City Hall Launches ‘Girlfriends’ Mentoring Program

This in from City Hall about a new effort by the  Division of Recreation and Cultural Affairs  to mentor young girls and encourage healthy, positive outlooks and lifestyles.



Biweekly afternoon sessions will mentor girls with sessions on positive imaging and lifestyle choices

Newark, NJ – February 3, 2009 – Mayor Cory A. Booker and Director of Neighborhood and Recreational Services Melvin Waldrop announced today that the City of Newark is offering a mentoring program called “Girlfriends,” aimed at girls aged 10-17, to help them become strong, smart, positive, and successful women. The program is free and will commence on Wednesday, February 4, 2009, at St. Peter’s Recreation Center at 378 Lyons Avenue, at 4 p.m., and continue on the first and third Wednesdays of every month thereafter.

The “Girlfriends” program will mentor female Newark youth, with sessions to help them identify and avoid risky behavior, making wise life choices, coping with stress, anger management, and how to cope with physical, mental, intellectual, and emotional challenges. The class is open to 25 girls, and is free.

“Newark’s youth face enormous challenges in their daily lives which is why it’s even more important to provide them with the guidance and inspiration they need to enable them to live productive and successful lives,” Mayor Booker said, “Ultimately we want to empower the young women of our city who participate in this program, with the knowledge they need, so they can manifest their own excellence as Newark residents and American citizens.”

Instructors in the program are all positive role models from within the Division of Recreation/Cultural Affairs. Volunteers are also being sought to conduct sessions and must be at least 18 years old, sincere about assisting Newark females to succeed, and knowledgeable about fields like etiquette, hygiene, personal finance, higher education, and nutrition.

The program is being run as a pilot at the St. Peter’s Center, and will expand to other recreation centers by year’s end, and become a year-round offering.

The class is sponsored by the Department of Neighborhood and Recreational Services’ Division of Recreation/Cultural Affairs.

“Participants in this class will know their value and potential as a result of this class, and be prepared to lead successful, independent, and fulfilling lives,” Director Waldrop said. “Our mentors will help them learn about decision-making and the consequences of good and bad decisions. I urge all Newark families with girls aged 10-17 to take advantage of this course.

Felicia Jones, the Recreation Aide who created and is overseeing the program, said, “We hope that the girls enjoy the program so much that after graduation from high school they return as mentors themselves.”

For more information on the class, contact the Division of Recreation and Cultural Affairs at (973) 733-6454 or (973) 733-8006.

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Newarker, PCA Elder, Business Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

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