The W.A.N.T.E.D. Project: Helping Boys Make Better Decisions

Mayor Fare with The W.A.N.T.E.D Project Participants
Years ago shortly after we married, my husband's great aunt passed away.  We then travelled to Gary, Indiana which is the birthplace of Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and all of their siblings.  Decades ago, the town was abuzz with working families many of which had migrated from the south to work in the various steel mills.  As the steel mills began to close and work dwindled, crime began to rise.  As we drove from the funeral through his old neighborhood, it was hard for me to believe that my husband was raised in Gary.  As a young boy, my husband was in the Gifted & Talented Program at school.  His mother dressed him in nice clothing and sneakers.  He was well liked by many kids but also the target for others.  Again, he was smart, well dressed, liked in the community, active in the church, and was a good baseball player.  After school, he would sometimes go directly to the Boys & Girls Club or the Hudson Campbell gym to play basketball with some other neighborhood kids.  One day at the gym, an older teen approached him and told him that they planned to jump him, but were advised not to.  Sometimes it is who knows YOU instead of who YOU know.  Some kids today aren't so lucky. 

Pastor Kimberly Clemons-Jones, Pastor of Valley Stream Presbyterian Church tells her story of how her son was attacked here.  Because of her son being attacked and hearing of others being attacked in nearby communities,  The W.A.N.T.E.D Project was birthed while she sat waiting for her son to come of out surgery from a broken jaw after being attacked by five kids.  W.A.N.T.E.D. stands for worthy, accountable, named, thankful, empowered, and determined.  Its purpose is to teach boys decision making skills when dealing with violence and police targeting.  The program will host dynamic speakers, coaching, peer support, and much more.  Programs like this are just what every community needs.

Registration - Thursday, September 29th
Contact: Pastor Kymberly Clemons-Jones
Valley Stream Presbyterian Church
130 S. Central Avenue, Valley Stream
Phone: (718) 219-1628
Young men ages 12-18 years old


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