City Council members are considering allocating $185,000 in Capital Improvements Program funding to two programs targeted toward at-risk youth.
The programs, to be studied today during the council’s special meeting, are coming from a $6 million category designated within the 2019 CIP for programs that promote activities for at-risk youth.
“The whole purpose of this is to help build society so that we end up helping children be successful,” Mayor Stan Booker has said about what he considers one of the cornerstones of the CIP initiative that voters passed in 2019.
Proposals before the council today include $89,000 for the Skills for Life Foundation, and $95,640.20 for the Tulsa Greenwood STEM and Entrepreneurship Program. If approved, both contracts would begin today and run through May 30, 2024. Both also come with recommendations from the Youth and Family Affairs Committee, the citizens-based committee charged with overseeing the CIP-funded youth programs.
Skills for Life Foundation’s funds will help establish a three-semester program to help youths prepare for careers. Each session would be 12 weeks, with a goal of of increasing social-emotional learning for youths while exposing them to STEM and employability skills while lessening their chances of entering the criminal justice system. In addition to training, the program will allow youths to explore options for businesses of their own.
The Greenwood Program already is active in the community, but organizers have cited plans to make the program year-round.
The program is designed to provide at-risk youth with opportunities to participate in a community program “that emphasized academically enriching activities.” Monthly workshops are planned in science, technology, engineering, math and entrepreneurship, with funds to be allocated toward STEM workshop kits and supplies, meals, supplies, five certified teachers to handle the workshops, hotel accommodations and travel expenses, entry fees for the Black Wall Museum and Science Museum, and operating expenses.