Albany State University
504 College Drive
Albany , GA 31705
Phone: (229) 430-4609
Fax: (229) 430-1676
Title: Albany State University Youth Center
Project Director: George Thomas, Ph.D.
Project Amount Funded (FY 2006): $250,000
Target Population: African American Youth, Grade 6
The goal of the Albany State University Youth Center is to reduce high risk behaviors among a cohort of 40 African American youth, who attend Albany Middle School , by strengthening protective/resiliency factors and developing skills and behaviors that lead to healthier life style choices. Albany State University (ASU) operates the Center in partnership with: Albany Middle School (AMS), the Albany Police Department, Network of Trust, Community Health Institute, and, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Center, located at Albany Middle School , operates year round with after school and special weekend programs, and a three-week summer program which is conducted on the ASU campus. The summer program exposes members of the cohort to each of the four program components. The academic enrichment component provides after school tutoring in reading, writing and math, as well as, an activity based science class. ASU student mentors provide intensive, individual academic coaching for participants with specific academic needs. Counseling faculty from ASU and AMS offer conflict resolution, problem solving, and anger management workshops as part of the personal development and wellness component. In addition, classes/workshops for this component are provided on topics such as: sex education, yoga, healthy cooking, money management, character development, leadership, and the power of meditation; and classes for parents on effective parenting. Service learning projects are also conducted to increase school bonding and an appreciation for the school community. The Albany Police Department offers opportunities for participants to ride with officers to help them understand the extent of anti-social and criminal activities in their community. In the cultural enrichment component, participants undertake activities to better understand their own cultural heritage by viewing movies about the Civil Rights Movement, taking field trips to historic civil rights sites, and listening to guest speakers (ASU faculty) from different African countries. Youth are also exposed to different cultures through movies and the annual International Education Week celebrations at ASU. The career development component provides participants with the skills necessary to initiate job searches, prepare resumes, and operate a computer. Monthly career-oriented workshops feature local business and industry leaders from whom participants learn about careers in the health professions, banking, engineering, teaching, and information technology.