News / USA

    Teens On Probation Help Victims of Hurricane Sandy

    Teens On Probation Help Victims of Hurricane Sandyi
    X
    August 14, 2013 10:40 AM
    Many victims of Hurricane Sandy are still in distress. But a new army of helpers has joined the recovery effort -- and they're coming from a source you might not expect. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York City communities still struggling to recover.
    Many victims of Hurricane Sandy are still in distress.  But a new army of helpers has joined the recovery effort -- and they're coming from a source you might not expect. 

    Helpers are clearing a road at Breezy Point so government four-wheelers can access the beach and take care of wildlife there.

    They are also helping victims of Hurricane Sandy by preparing food packages for them.

    The helpers are New York City teens, who have been convicted of non violent crimes and are now on probation.

    They too are being helped -- by a non profit group called YouthWRAP.  It helps teenage offenders break free of juvenile crime through community-oriented projects.

    “The more time they spend doing good, the less time they are going to spend doing bad as far as we are concerned.  So part of it is for them to turn their lives around, part of it is for them to really do the work that New York City needs to recover from Sandy,” explained Vincent Schiraldi, New York City's Probation Commissioner.

    During the storm, Breezy Point roads were washed out .  An electrical fire destroyed more than a hundred homes.  Teen probationers recognize the loss. "Actually what it means to me, that one, it was a bad thing. Two, right now actually means a lot cause I get to help people," stated one teen.

    Not far away, in Brooklyn, Coney Island’s Salt and Sea Mission is working with YouthWrap, giving other teen offenders the chance to do good.  The Mission takes care of neighbors whose homes were destroyed.  

    “Today we are giving out green beans, macaroni and cheese, diced tomatoes, apple sauce, apple juice, pesto beans, no kidney beans, and maple and the peanut butter,” stated another teen.

    Teens in the program get paid up to $1400 (USD) for the summer.  But the the responsibility they take on is what drives them.

    “It means a lot to me, helping people, this [is] new me. I was younger and all I knew was to do bad…and this program basically changed my life cause I actually started helping  people," said Daquan Jackson. "I started preparing stuff, it taught me some traits that I didn’t know before.”

    Essence Walker agreed. “It meant a lot because it changed the way I see life and now I see people,” she said.

    Pastor Debby Santiago is the Mission's leader.  She was once a drug dealer and bank robber.  But now she's a mentor backed by the city's Probation Department.

    “They came one way, and they’ve just been changing into these people that I just want to hug all the time," Santiago said. "They are helping this community, most of them, I mean they are getting pleasure out of helping other people.”

    Hurricane Sandy recovery projects in New York City involve some 450 teens on probation.  Many of them are on the road to a new life.

    You May Like

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.