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Higgins: $990,000 to support education and career services for at-risk young people


Thu, Oct 19th 2023 09:35 pm

Funding supports PathStone’s ‘Obstacles to Opportunities’ program in Erie County

Congressman Brian Higgins announced a three-year grant totaling $990,000 awarded to the PathStone Corp. His team said, “Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and awarded through the Transitioning Gang-Involved Youth to Higher Education program, the grant supports PathStone’s efforts in Erie County to provide at-risk young people with the tools they need to achieve educational and career success.”

Higgins explained, “Higher education and career training provide critical foundations for a safe and stable future, especially for at-risk young people living in underserved communities. Funding provided by the U.S. Department of Education is an investment in a better future for students in Erie County experiencing the greatest risks. It builds on the dedicated work PathStone is already doing across New York state and beyond to support vulnerable communities.”

A press release noted, “The Transitioning Gang-Involved Youth to Higher Education program provides at-risk young people with post-secondary opportunities that will lead to certifications and credentials that support good-paying jobs and a stable career path. Funding is available to support partnerships between community colleges and public or private organizations, community-based organizations, industry partners, and other entities. Grantees must have a demonstrated record of working successfully with gang-involved young people by leveraging services that support students in acquiring the knowledge and skills to transition into an education beyond high school.”

Emily Sorenson, senior director of training and employment services at PathStone, said, "After four years serving the justice involved population in Buffalo, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to extend and increase our presence with our new ‘Obstacles to Opportunities’ program. The Buffalo community has truly lived up to their 'City of Good Neighbors' slogan in welcoming us and allowing us to provide services here. We extend our gratitude to our community partners for their support and to the U.S. Department of Education for selecting PathStone Corp. to receive one of five nationwide awards. We cannot wait to get started!"

Grant funding will support PathStone’s “Obstacles to Opportunities” program, which aims to serve at-risk young people. The program is designed to reach 75 individuals ages 14-24 in Erie County.

The press release stated, “Addressing the challenges that underserved young people face, it will provide supportive services, basic education, and other critical life skills. By creating individualized plans, PathStone will provide both classroom and work-based training. Their comprehensive approach will meet students’ social and emotional needs, while helping them achieve their educational and career goals.”

PathStone is a nonprofit community development and human services organization dedicated to eliminating poverty and strengthening families and individuals. Since 1969, the organization has been serving low-income families and economically distressed communities in New York Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, Vermont and Puerto Rico. To learn more, visit https://pathstone.org/.

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