TORONTO, Aug. 26 /CNW/ - "Finally… a positive place in the 'hood where I can go to be myself, and learn more about building routine and finding some direction," says S.L., who will be in the first graduating class from the Prevention Intervention Toronto program.

S.L. is just one of 78 youth who will proudly accept a certificate on Thursday after spending 36 weeks in a new program, Prevention Intervention Toronto (P.I.T).  The goal of P.I.T. is to assist in and contribute to reducing the proliferation of gangs in three priority areas in Toronto: Jane & Finch, Jamestown (Rexdale) and Weston - Mount Dennis. Over the last 9 months, the youth received job training and employment opportunities, one-on-one support from a dedicated mentor, guidance about educational, legal and social service systems, TTC tokens to get to and from the course, subsidy towards specialized training (i.e. Forklift, SmartServ, CPR,) and finally, a certificate of completion for P.I.T. training sessions.

The project, funded by the National Crime Prevention Centre through the Youth Gang Prevention Fund, is administered by the City of Toronto with service delivery provided by JVS Toronto.

Orville Wallace, Manager of the P.I.T. program for JVS Toronto, is incredibly pleased with this group.  "I am particularly proud of these graduates because many of them have reached their goals of Employment, Housing, Training, and Education.  Furthermore, many of them have also matured in their decision-making and are making wiser decisions with regards to staying away from negative peer pressure and avoiding conflict with the law."

Who:  78 graduates living in Jane & Finch, Jamestown (Rexdale) and Weston-Mount Dennis
What:  The graduation of the first Prevention Intervention Toronto (P.I.T.) program
Where:  North York Civic Centre
When:  Thursday, August 26th, 5:30 p.m.
Why:  To celebrate!

JVS Toronto is a non-profit organization that was founded over 60 years ago to assist Jewish immigrants in finding employment after World War II.  Today, the organization works with thousands of people from diverse backgrounds with diverse needs.  JVS Toronto helps clients identify their strengths and goals, and develop the necessary skills and knowledge they need to succeed in school, work and life.  Since 1947, this remarkable organization has enabled over 500,000 people to fulfill their potential.


For further information: For further information:

Abby Robins, Director of Communications and Marketing
JVS Toronto
416-787-1151, ext. 276 or 416-277-3340 (cell)

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