RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Rensselaer County held a community coalition meeting Thursday night aimed at impacting the lives of youth.
The city of Rensselaer is working to find a way to take back their youth from risky behaviors. Many in the city came to a meeting to hear how a coalition has been working to effectively make change.
Rensselaer County once had a heroin epidemic among its youth.
“[Rensselaer County] had twice as many underaged DWIs in Rensselaer County as compared to the statewide average on a per capita basis,” Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino said.
Now the county is down to half of the statewide average.
“If we give them the opportunity to see that their community is behind them, then I think we can steer them away from some of the things that will lead them off the path of success,” Jimino said.
The coalition’s idea is to discuss prevalent issues amongst minors. The idea is to brainstorm and design progressive options for youth but to also shed light on community involvement as a whole.
“Whether it’s volunteering at their church, volunteering for veterans groups, giving them the opportunity to learn skills and contribute to their community,” Jimino said.
Jimino said that a coalition is not about professionals but about the people that live in the target community. She said it emphasizes the proverb that it takes a village to raise a child.
“And likewise, we can all be impacted by the decisions that we make, so it behooves us all to come together and make sure that we are all sending our kids a strong message,” she said.
The group has not set a date for their next meeting, but they are looking at some time in January.