May 21, 2010 > Newark students honored by S.F. Giants and Newark Police Department
Newark students honored by S.F. Giants and Newark Police Department
Submitted By Commander Robert Douglas
Twenty-eight Newark Junior High School students were honored during a special pre-game ceremony prior to the San Francisco Giants game on Friday, May 14. The students are all participants of the Newark Police Department's Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program. GREAT is a life skills competency program designed to provide students with the skills they need to resist gang pressure and avoid youth violence.
"No, you shouldn't do that. What would your mom or entire family think? You know they are counting on you. They are hoping you will help them and that someday you will be someone important," wrote essay contest winner, Jairo Rojas on drugs and gangs to a friend.
Alina Chavez, also a winner of the contest wrote, "One of the reasons most kids join gangs is because they are not fully educated about them. You [parents] could help your kid by telling them the real deal on gangs."
According to Newark Junior High School Resource Officer Aaron Slater winners include Jairo Rojas, Maria Gavaldon, Matt Chesney, Sydnee Strong, Alina Chavez, Yasamin Gilani, Carley Ward Arman Ronquillo, Andrew Codrington, Jose Villa, Brooke Hadfield, Adriana James, Alanna Paloma, Amr Hedayet, Stephanie Schultz, Vanessa Jimenez, William Hanke, Marina Raie, Tanzeela Khan, Brisania Bautista, Katarina Ruiz, Shaina Esquejo, Arielle Surratt, Kenneth Beck, Marina Morales, Gabriela Diaz, Kumail Aslam and Kyrie Sismaet.
Sixth and seventh graders from throughout the Bay Area competed in the contest co-sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and supplemented by the Newark Police Association. Students wrote inspiring essays entitled "Making My Community a GREAT Place" and "Why Violence and Gangs are not a Good Life Choice" while learning about the value of education, and taking responsibility for their community. Information regarding GREAT can be accessed through their website at www.great-online.org.