TRUMBULL COUNTY Program leader aims to empower youths

The program will be at the corner of Highland Avenue and Fourth Street.
WARREN -- Several Trumbull County groups hope to educate young people in a program Saturday about educational and homeownership opportunities.
Abdu Awolowo of the Marcus Garvey Institute of Awareness said the program, aimed at empowerment, is set for noon to 6 p.m. Saturday in a lot at the corner of Highland Avenue and Fourth Street.
"Self-respect and responsibility equal empowerment," said Awolowo, event organizer.
He said information about first-time home-buyer programs will be available with city representatives invited to attend. The ACOP Center will provide information on General Educational Development programs, and the institute will encourage young people to become involved with its middle school tennis program.
All three middle schools in the city system have teams.
"We want to have winter teams playing at Monument of Faith on Highland Avenue with portable nets," Awolowo said. "That's a high-crime area."
School supplies also will be distributed.
Groups involved
Other organizations participating include the Hoyt Street, St. Paul, and New Covenant Churches of God in Christ, all of Warren, and the Mount Sinai Church of God in Christ of Niles, the Sons of Thunder group of St. Paul, the Independent Black/Minority Coalition at Kent State Trumbull and the RBG complex.
"We want to offer other alternatives" to lives of crime, Awolowo said. "A lot of young people are into crime and selling drugs, and they don't see a way out."
Awolowo said the institute is working with area unions and trying to establish apprenticeship programs.
"We want to show these kids that they can work and earn $25 an hour, and they don't have to be looking over their shoulder all the time," he said.
The hope is that young people will take skills learned through an apprenticeship and apply them to starting their own construction businesses, Awolowo said.
"Many of them have demonstrated that they have the entrepreneurial spirit; it's just directed in the wrong direction," he said.

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