Goal 500's goal is for the young to succeed

NORTH PHILADELPHIA - November 10, 2010

After going through the juvenile justice system, 17-year-old Lawshawn Jackson is now back on track thanks to the woman standing beside her, a Youth Advocate Program member.

"Talking to her about stuff I never really talked about and it's really nice to know you have somebody to depend on, you've got somewhere to go," Lawshawn said.

And that's what Philadelphia's Youth Advocate Program is all about - helping troubled teens overcome their problems.

Today, YAP celebrated the launch of a brand new program that will also help them after they leave.

"Very often when they leave us, they come back to us and ask what can I do, I want to be connected to something so instead of letting those kids flounder out there we want to an organized way so they can access those services," Dana Newman of Youth Advocate Program said.

That's how Goal 500 was born.

It is a program aimed at helping young people on the path toward a better future. .

"We want to connect them with career development opportunities, things that they are interested in, if they're eligible for college we want to get them involved in college," Newman said.

The program even goes as far subsidizing the paychecks of these young people for two months to entice employers to give them a second chance.

"I want to work, I don't want to be a statistic, statistically they say 'you go to placement, you're not going to be nothing,' but with this program it gives me hope," Lawshawn said.

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