The P.U.S.H. Project: Education and Recreation for a Better Tomorrow

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The P.U.S.H. Project: Education and Recreation for a Better Tomorrow
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The goal and mission of the P.U.S.H. Program (Perseverance, understanding, success, healing) is to develop both educational and employment opportunities for the youth of New Orleans. This program will employ already-existing underutilized parks throughout the city to provide young people with the opportunity to participate in productive and educational leisure activities. Idleness is often the root of greater problems including drug use and violence. By creating both educational and athletic camps for young people, the importance of learning is reinforced during the summer months and a healthy lifestyle is encouraged through recreation. In addition, job opportunities will become available for those who are 16-24 years old. These youth can act as camp counselors, coaches, or concession stand salesmen to keep them off the streets and out of trouble. The goal of the P.U.S.H. Program is simple: Create safer and better communities through inspiration, dedication, and productive/ healthy recreation.
My name is Ryan Dalton. I grew up in the 8th Ward of New Orleans and am currently the Front house manager at Café Reconcile, a job training program for at-risk youth. A graduate of the program myself, my life now is much different now than it was a few years ago. Before entering the program, I was considered an “at-risk youth.” I have sold drugs, been incarcerated, and been shot several times, but I have turned my life around because of an opportunity granted to me. With this unique perspective and understanding of the youth of my city, I feel particularly drawn to helping reverse the effects of poverty and violence. It is for that reason that I have been working towards the creation of the P.U.S.H. Program. I believe that the key to a safer and better world is through recreation, education, and opportunity.