“WARNING! Is gang violence really alive on Long Island?”

Gang related crimes on Long Island, New York have been on a consistent increase, leaving towns and communities in fear for their children’s and family’s lives. The sounds of gun fire and ‘Rest in peace’ memorials have traumatized the entire Long Island Area due to Gang violence. Although, many might question what does it have do with them, the reality is: gang violence affects the entire Long island area in one way or another. The police departments in both Nassau and Suffolk County have reported a significant amount of information on the Gang related crimes committed. Therefore, it is of equal importance for all communities to be vigilant of the potential dangers of gang activity.

S.T.R.O.N.G, incorporated is a Long Island youth, family and community development organization, specializing in youth and gang violence prevention and interventions to help support families in take their communities back. The goal of S.T.R.O.N.G is to advocate the community in speaking out against gang violence and to cooperate with their local police departments to bring justice for the family members that have lost their loved ones from gang violence. S.T.R.O.N.G Youth, a spawn of S.T.R.O.N.G.  is also spreading the word of peace and stopping the vicious cycle of gang retaliations throughout the Long Island area so that the children would have a brighter future. Founder Sergio Argueta has taken on the role of providing of safer environment for children to grow up, where they do not feel the pressures of joining a gang. Therefore, with help of fellow Long Island community members the dangers of gang life can be prevented and stopped through early intervention.

For more information on this program contact Sergio Argueta at 516-483-1350, email strongyouthinc@gmail.com or check out their web page http://strongyouth.com


Idle minds protected by the parents in Long Island

The idea of parenting has boggled the minds of many people in today’s society. Some parents might question themselves, wondering “How do I keep my children occupied and entertained when I’m usually busy”?  The fact of the matter is, no one truly has that much time on their hands to keep their children constantly engaged. However, the religious saying: “An idle mind is the devils playground” has been proven to be true on numerous occasions.  Therefore, parents keeping their children immersed in activity, is important to preventing a child from getting into trouble.

Parents should make sure that their children have something to do even on the weekends. Structure is a great way to incorporate discipline and fun into their lives. For example, the average school lets classes out at around two thirty in the afternoon. After school, instead of allowing the television to rule children, parents should promote their kids to be engaged in sports, recreational clubs or community activities. In doing these positive activities children are so preoccupied that they don’t have time to be interested in negative influences that are highly prompted by gang members or unproductive individuals. Therefore, positive after school activities prevent children from becoming victim to idle minded behaviors.

Free Advice and Suggestions

The following is advice for keeping your child positively occupied. Please takes notes and create your own for the children in your life. I hope these suggestions help.

  • Parents should take time out with their children to evaluate what after school programs and sports their children’s school promotes.
  • It is also helpful to look up the resources in your community’s library inquire about any after school programs and volunteer work.
  • For religious or spiritual parents, try to get your child involved in a youth ministry program. The Upper Room church in Deer Park has an amazing youth platform on Saturday nights where every teenager is allowed to join and fellowship. They can also play basketball. It’s pretty much a supervised safe, relaxed, hang-out place.
  • Finally, parents should create a fun game night at home so that even your children friends would like to be involved. This would promote family bonding.

The college education equalizer for Long Island’s lower income community residents

Higher Education opportunities have been neglected in regards to lower income and poverty stricken individuals living on Long Island, New York. The Cost of college has been on a consistent rise, leaving a stressful impact on families as their children prepare for college during high school. Obtaining a scholarship through Track, Basketball and Football is not for everyone. While flashing back to my High School graduation, I remember the Class of 2002 ceremony where scholarships were being handed out like crazy to the class Valedictorian and Salutatorian . A 4.0 GPA was just not in my favor even though I worked very hard to graduate.  However, I did manage to obtain a scholarship to Dowling College as an H.E.O.P. recipient in two-thousand and two.

H.E.O.P is an acronym meaning Higher Education Opportunity Program in New York State that enables poverty stricken and lower income recipients the opportunity to pursue their college education almost for free. The Dowling Colleges H.E.O.P.  program enables those who might have never had a shot at a college education to purse a degree and eventually a career. Although, this is a free opportunity, H.E.O.P. students are required to give their best effort academically in order to remain in the program.  During the summer, starting in June, students are tested and put through numerous math, writing and reading courses for thirty days to see if they are prepared for classes in the fall. Therefore, the H.E.O.P. program at Dowling College would be a great starting place for students to learn due to its small, family-styled classrooms opposed to colleges that have huge auditorium sized lecture halls.

For additional information about H.E.O.P. and their applications log onto www.dowling.edu or call their number at (631) 244-3262. If Dowling College is too far C.W Post College also has a H.E.O.P. program directed by William Clyde. His phone number is  (516) 299-2397

Guidance is the key to a successful outcome for the next generation

In today’s society, the generation of the ‘latch-key child’ is at an all-time high. Perhaps this is due to the tremendous pressure our economy puts on parents to work long hours and sometimes multiple jobs in order to make ends meet in keeping a roof over their heads and providing for their families.  Statistics have shown that children left alone without parental or responsible adult guidance are in danger of becoming lost in the world. From a psychological perspective, the mind of a child is not fully developed until their mid-twenties. Therefore, it is important that parents make sure that their kids are always involved in productive programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters of long island.

The power of the mentors helping children in need of guidance and leadership in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program is remarkable. Through countless efforts they ensure that all children obtain the love and support needed to achieve success in their lives. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission is to “provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change lives for the better, forever” (www.bbbsli.org). With this particular vision Big Brother Big Sister has been successfully aiding children in need form the ages of seven to fourteen across America. Therefore, if any parents or guardians are in need of help or assistance for their children the Big Brother Big Sister program of Long Island would be a value resource.

For additional information to the Big Brothers Big  Sisters of long Island contact,

The E. David Woycik Jr. Building 70 Acorn Lane Levittown, NY 11756
Phone 516-731-7880 Fax  516-731-0486

145 Sycamore Avenue Islandia, NY 11749
Phone 631-273-1469 Fax 631-232-7955