Ninety-Three Baltimore City Students to Graduate from Youth Opportunity (YO!)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 4, 2014

FOR ASSIGNMENT:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014; 6 p.m.

Contacts: Brice Freeman, Communications, 410-396-1910, [email protected]

Ernest Dorsey, Youth Services, 410-396-6722, [email protected]

Ninety-Three Baltimore City Students to Graduate from Youth Opportunity (YO!)

Baltimore Programs June 11 Graduation ceremony will be held at Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland (June 4, 2014) – Youth Opportunity (YO!) Baltimore will host a special graduation event for its 2014 class of 93 young adults who chose to pursue alternative education after facing challenges in traditional settings. Fifty-seven students will graduate from the YO! Academy, an alternative high school that operates in partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools. They will share the stage with 36 young people who earned their high school diplomas through the two YO! centers in East and West Baltimore. Ms. Shina Parker, a local entrepreneur and CEO, will deliver the keynote address.

WHO: YO! Baltimore serves Baltimore City youth between the ages of 16 to 24 who are disconnected from school and work, and who face challenges such as unstable housing, limited support systems, early parenthood and limited educational achievements. Through the encouragement of caring and professional advocates, the guidance of dedicated literacy instructors and access to vital support services, these young people are now moving forward to become fully independent and productive young adults.

WHEN: Wed., June 11, 2014; 6-8 p.m.

WHERE: Johns Hopkins University Shriver Hall, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218.

BACKGROUND: Youth Opportunity (YO!) Baltimore is operated by the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development’s Youth Services division. Since 2000, YO! has served approximately 7,000 Baltimore residents between the ages of 16-24, linking them with community-based educational, workforce preparation and personal development services. Key YO! partners include the Baltimore City Department of Juvenile Services, Baltimore City Public Schools, Civic Works, the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition (HEBCAC), the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Adolescent Health, and Sinai Hospital. www.oedworks.com

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In fiscal year 2013, the Mayor's Office of Employment Development hosted more than 119,000 visits from city residents at our one-stop career centers, provided computer literacy and occupational skills training to more than 1,600 people, and placed nearly 2,500 individuals in jobs. We offered summer employment to more than 5,200 young people through YouthWorks and assisted more than 425 businesses through our Employ Baltimore strategy. MOED is committed to building a strong workforce for our city by developing meaningful partnerships with the local business community and connecting Baltimore citizens of all ages and backgrounds with jobs and pathways to careers. www.oedworks.com

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