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MERGE: Providing Life and Job Skills to Young Men in High-Crime Areas

Youth Advocate Programs Inc. (YAP) of Atlantic City, NJ has provided subsidized transitional employment services for young men for over 10 years. With a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, it has augmented those services with a large community mobilization effort called MERGE (Males Engaged in Reducing Violence through Gainful Employment). MERGE focuses on improving longer term job and educational outlooks for young men ages 14-24.

Project partners include the Atlantic County (NJ) Youth Advocate Program; Atlantic Cape Community College, Atlantic City Parent Resource Center, Harrah's Entertainment, and Atlantic County Youth Services Commission. Participants also complete the Peaceful Alternatives to Tough Situations (PATTS) Program, an evidence-based training curriculum recognized by SAMSHA. PATTS is also used in our work with youth throughout YAP Programs.

For more information, contact Dana Newman, YAP Deputy CEO, 215-599-2175

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For media and press inquiries, please contact Shaena Fazal at sfazal@yapinc.org.
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