Pilot program funding passed with bi-partisan support during the 2015 legislative session
Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that $1 million will be available for the nationally recognized non-profit organization, AMIkids, Inc., to implement a pilot program in St. Louis assisting at-risk youth access education, counseling and employment opportunities.
“Early intervention is crucial to helping at-risk youth realize their potential,” Gov. Nixon said. “AMIkids is a proven model for helping young people achieve their dreams and develop into successful and productive adults. I thank the legislature and the NAACP for working across the aisle to direct more resources toward improving opportunities for young people in the St. Louis region.”
The Missouri Department of Public Safety will award $1 million to AMIkids, Inc. This funding will be used to connect at-risk youth with programs and services to improve academic and behavioral issues.
“The ultimate goal is to stop youth violence before it starts, and AMIkids has built an effective prevention program with the proven prevention strategies St. Louis needs,” said Adolphus M. Pruitt, II, St. Louis City NAACP President.
“Our organization partners with communities and schools to ensure young people have the necessary supports to make a difference in their own lives. We strive to empower them by improving their futures through education, job training, and personal development.” Dr. Phildra Swagger, Vice President, AMIkids said. “We appreciate Gov. Nixon and the Missouri General Assembly for continuing to take concrete steps to improve the lives of young people in the St. Louis area.”
AMIkids is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping youth develop into responsible and productive citizens. AMIkids' mission is to protect public safety and positively impact as many youth as possible through the efforts of a diverse and innovative staff. Working in partnership with youth agencies, local communities and families, AMIkids provides more than 5,000 youth with programs that inspire learning, leadership and personal growth each year.
“AMIkids has the experience, expertise and proven track record of success that will ensure these dollars will be put to good use to expand opportunities for troubled teens in St. Louis,” said Marvin Teer, Director of the Missouri Office of Community Engagement. “We look forward to working with AMIkids to achieve real, tangible results for the young people in the St. Louis region.”
AMIkids, St. Louis will provide an estimated 180 students in grades 9-12 in St. Louis Public Schools with targeted interventions to achieve the following goals:
- Improving teacher and student safety;
- Enhancing high school performance rates;
- Reducing dropout rates;
- Reducing long-term suspensions and expulsions;
- Reducing school-based arrests and court involvement;
- Ensuring students that are credit deficient are back on track with their classmates;
- Adequately preparing students for post-secondary placement.