Second year of mayor’s summer program aims to serve twice as many teens

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Mayor Sly James said the city is gearing up to host the "Teens in Transition" program for the second year. This summer, he said $60,000 from the city's budget will be used for the program, allowing it to double the amount of at-risk teens it serves.

"What we are trying to do is to select those who are most at risk for either being engaged or being victimized and get them into a program where we can try to address that," said Mayor James. "We get them moving towards finding out there are different ways to address issues and handle problems and then when they do that they start to actually see that it pays off."

The teens will receive tutoring, counseling, anger management, conflict resolution, and get paid for taking part in it for three hours a day this summer.

“We cannot stop investing in the things that are going to build this city for the future,” said Mayor James.

Last year, 24 teenagers were selected for the program and 20 graduated from it. This summer, the mayor hopes some of them will return to serve as mentors for the new group.

Activist group “Mothers in Charge,” a group of women who have all lost their children to homicides, will spend time with the teens this summer.

“That would really help them keep their mind from getting involved in something negative like a violent crime,” said President Rosilyn Temple.

Mayor James said the teens are hand selected for the program, sometimes by a school resource officer. If it is a success, he said he hopes to expand it to more teens in years to come.

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