Fed grants toBy Rosemarie Bernardo
help teen, public
Nick Sanders started smoking and hanging out with the wrong crowd at the age of 13.
Because there wasn't much to do, said Sanders, he and a friend decided to join the Pearl City Community Youth United to Help, a teen intervention program based at Momilani Community Center.
"I didn't want to talk to anybody," said Sanders when he first joined the teen program.
Program co-director Brett Bulseco placed Sanders in the middle of activities and noticed him opening up to people.
"It was like my second home there," said Sanders. Last month, Sanders was one of the recipients awarded the Kilohana Award by Gov. Ben Cayetano for outstanding volunteerism.
The federal government awarded $121,000 to the teen intervention program. The nonprofit organization will be providing opportunities for at-risk youth to learn performing arts and production skills.
The city received three additional federal grants from the U.S. departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development for services. The four grants total $773,880.
$330,000 for a three-year teen employment training program in Waipahu expected to start on Sept. 1. Leeward YMCA will be providing programs dealing with rebelling teen-agers and parental attitudes, said teen program director Michelle Pinzon.
The teen training program will offer job and life skills, such as resume writing and violence and substance abuse prevention, said Pinzon.
Along with helping teen-agers, Pinzon said their program will assist families with conflict resolutions and anger management.
$300,000 to public safety agencies for specialized emergency response equipment.
According to fire Capt. Richard Soo, public information officer of the Honolulu Fire Department, the grant will assist the city for needed equipment for two HazMat trucks, self-contained trucks that carry encapsulated suits and air bottles for chemical monitoring of hazardous materials.
The Honolulu Police Department will also be supplied with encapsulated suits, said Soo. HFD will receive 21 Ericsson 800-megahurtz radios, added Soo. The Oahu Civil Defense Agency will receive 20 radios and 15 radios will go to Emergency Medical Services, he said
$22,880 for a gun buyback program. The program will allow firearms to be turned into the police anonymously in exchange for a $50 voucher. It is expected that about 400 to 500 weapons will be retrieved.
According to epidemiologist Dan Galanis of the Department of Health's Injury Prevention and Control Program, eight children in Hawaii were killed by firearms in the last 10 years. An average of 56 people are killed by firearms yearly statewide.