February 2, 2018

On Wednesday, January 10, Paterson Great Falls YouthBuild (PGFYB) students and City of Passaic police officers paved the way for a more collaborative and cooperative relationship between youth and law enforcement. Sponsored by NJCDC since 1998, PGFYB is a youth and community development program that provides a meaningful "second chance" for area youth to earn their GED and gain valuable vocational skills and job-readiness training to increase their employability upon graduation.

Events on Wednesday gave a new meaning to the term "bridging the gap" as the two groups came together at Boverini Stadium, the Passaic High School football field, for a competitive and fun-filled game of flag football. The experience showed the youth another side of public service as the boys in blue worked hard to build a bond with our PGFYB students and tear down the wall that commonly exists between youth and law enforcement.

By playing flag football together, the two groups built a bond, combatted stereotypes, and deepened empathy. NJCDC CEO Bob Guarasci said, "Thank you to the City of Passaic's police officers for engaging our YouthBuild students in an experience that built trust and cooperation. We hope to continue this trend of building better relationships between youth and law enforcement, and we're confident that by working together, they can change communities for the better."

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