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News & Media

Recap of JPC Back To School

Monday, August 21st, 2017

 What: The Recap of the JPC Back To School and Say No To Drugs Party; The Youth Voice Initiative Special Recognition Ceremony; Head, Hand and Heart Family Enrichment Special Recognition Ceremony; The Recognition & Presentation of the JPC Community Service Award; The Ricky Powell & Brian West Memorial Celebration

When: Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Where: 26 Johnson Park-Cornhill, Utica

Contact: Ms. Caitlyn Copfer, JPC Media Coordinator, 315-941-0820 or

News Stories: 

Utica, NY. The "Back To School" time of the summer is here! This part of the year is exciting for students and parents – but can also be stressful when those expensive supply lists come out. JPC's Youth Voice Initiative hosted its annual Back to School Party on August 15, 2017 and gave away thousands of school supplies to students in need!

The event lasted from 4-8pm and gave community residents the opportunity to participate in games and contests that promoted a drug and alcohol free lifestyle along with the school supply giveaway. The supply bags included a various assortment of notebooks, pencils, crayons, calculators, etc. A hot meal, snacks & desserts were also served free of charge!

The Youth Voice Initiative is a group of young teenagers (9-14 year olds) and Junior Youth Voice Initiative (ages 6-8 year olds) who are learning to be leaders & positive models amongst their peers – to speak up against drugs and violence and why it is important to be successful in school. A Ceremony was held for the Youth Voice for having completed Summer Phase of Work Experience. Each Youth Voice received presents and a gift card in order to purchase needed personal & school supplies to go to school.

We also had Special Recognition for the Head, Hand & Heart (HHH) Family Enrichment Program for children 3 to 5 year olds, their siblings and parents/caregiver to share the progress that were achieved during this summer. HHH is an early childhood development, behavior modification and access to education, literacy, learning and school readiness success program with "hands-on" with technology & educational toys, receives individual tutoring and group traditional education & life skills activities, mentoring and advocacy.

Mr. Donald Robinson & Mr. Raymond Schloop were presented with the 10th Year JPC Community Service Award. Mr. Robinson & Mr. Schloop makes themselves available and takes the initiative to assist and help JPC to serve the Cornhill-Johnson Park community. They identify needs and with compassion & with the spirit of excellence volunteers to make things better for others. Their volunteer service is having a lasting impact on their peers, JPC and the community. Throughout the event, Rev. Dr. Scates, D. D., various JPC staff, participants, volunteers, and community members shared their stories and spoke of the positive change that has occurred in the last 22 years.

At the end of the evening, the Youth Voice Initiative hosted The Ricky Powell & Brian West Memorial Celebration at the corner of Arthur Street and West Street, the site of the memorial that stands year round in memory of the young lives taken too soon due to gun violence. The gathering released 12 balloons in memory of the 12 additional lives lost this year to violence in Utica's streets.

This event was sponsored in part by Utica National Group Foundation, Inc. Fund, M&T Bank/Partners Charitable Fund & the Mele Family Funds-Donor Advised Funds of the Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties; the United Way for the Valley and Greater Utica Area; the Walmart New Hartford, Dollars Tree Mohawk Street & North Utica, MVP Health Care, the National Emergency Food and Shelter Program; the Food Bank of Central New York, the Bank of Utica, the United Health Community Plan, the US HUD Supportive Housing Program, New York State Supportive Housing Program, NYS Homeless Housing & Assistance Program, Senator Joe Griffo 47th NYS Senate District, Oneida County Youth Bureau, Oneida County Department of Social Services, the City of Utica Community Development Block Grant, Emergency Solutions Grant, Home Program, Various Businesses, Organizations, Churches and JPC friends & supporters.