For young people in Georgia, Atlanta can be a tough place to grow up. With sprawling gangs and high recidivism rates, the state capitol has been a cesspool for violence and drug-use among young people.
The Promise Center is hoping to reverse that trend. Formally called the At-Promise Youth and Community Center, the Promise Center opened last month with the hope that it would provide a new, positive setting and set of resources for young people in metro-Atlanta.
The Promise Center’s website highlights a three-pronged approach: “diversion, intervention and prevention.”
The diversion aspect of the program stems from the recreation section of the center where students can participate in team sports and clubs or contribute to the center’s youth-run radio station.
Intervention is provided in the opposite section of the Promise Center. Families have the opportunity to opt-in to clinical assessments for their children as well as therapeutic sessions that could potentially curb or even halt destructive habits systemic to teens in the area. The center also provides character and leadership development training, healthy lifestyle programs and group counseling, all in an effort to intervene in youth’s problems before the ramifications become too serious.
The final step of the program, prevention, is carried out through the extensive education programs the center provides. They range from GED preparation to STEM programs and credit recovery for students currently enrolled, but struggling, in their schools.
What is expected from this multi-million-dollar investment made by the City of Atlanta? First and foremost, the city hopes to decrease youth arrests and overall recidivism by 10%. Yet, beyond statistics, the hope is that The Promise Center can foster a new culture and spirit among Atlanta Youth. Better relations among police officers and students, increases in school attendance and healthier and more productive outlets are all goals that the Atlanta Police Department sets for their community. The Promise Center, many hope, will help them get there.