04/01/2019 – 19 Volunteers Trained to Combat Youth Gang Violence in Cumberland County

On March 26, 2019, Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae, members of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission Anti-Gang Unit, Bridgeton City Mayor Albert Kelly and representatives of the Bridgeton, Millville and Vineland Housing Authorities came out to congratulate volunteers who came together to combat gang and gun violence by improving young people’s ability to make good choices and act on them.  The volunteers were trained on the Phoenix Curriculum 25-hour Anti-Gang Prevention Model. The Phoenix Curriculum is designed for school-aged youth between 5th- and 8th grade.  It is a successful program that steers kids away from gangs and gun violence through improving their capacity to make good choices and act on them.

The volunteers were trained for two hours a week for four weeks to successfully complete 8-hours of facilitation training. Volunteers learned how to help students develop-self-efficacy, problem solving, problem avoidance, resistance/refusal and escape skills. The volunteers will teach students to ask for help from safe and supportive people, manage their feelings (self-monitoring and emotional intelligence) and control their impulses.

Volunteers will administer The Phoenix Curriculum one hour a week for ten consecutives weeks in Bridgeton, Millville and Vineland Housing Authorities between April 15th 2019 and June 19th 2019.  This is a collaborative initiative between the NJ Juvenile Justice Commission, the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office and the Housing Authorities of Bridgeton, Millville and Vineland.

The following volunteers were trained and received certificates of training completion:

Bridgeton Municipality     

  1. Carole Green
  2. Wayne Holt
  3. Diedre Kennedy
  4. Adrian McGriff
  5. Joanne Sbrana
  6. Martha Saint-Jean
  7. Max Saint-Jean
  8. Shannon Taylor
  9. Mae Woodley

Millville Municipality

  1. Martin Brown
  2. Alyssa Ellis
  3. Cecelia King
  4. Viola Pierre
  5. Heather Wolf

Vineland Municipality

  1. Jacqueline Cruz
  2. Rosa Gonzalez
  3. Victor Jimenez
  4. Melvin Negron
  5. Michelle White

Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae thanked the volunteers for giving of their time to make Cumberland County youth stronger and more able to deal with the peer pressures that lead to risky behavior.  She further thanked both the Juvenile Justice Commission and the Housing Authorities for being welcome partners in the fight against gang and gun violence in Cumberland County.

The certificate ceremony took place at Inspira Fitness Center in Vineland, NJ.

*If this press release involves the charging, accusation or indictment of a criminal defendant, same is merely an accusation.  The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.