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South Jersey Youth Alliance

South Jersey Youth Alliance
South Jersey Youth Alliance is uniting government, faith, and business for the benefit of our youth. South Jersey Youth Alliance (SJYA) is a multifaceted, non-profit organization whose purpose is to educate, train and equip young people with the tools necessary to break the chains of poverty, addiction and under-achievement. It is their objective to instill a passion to succeed in the hearts of adolescents regardless of the prevailing negative environment of our current culture. The organization will work to inspire a commitment to achievement through the individual’s personal effort helping him or her discover and provide opportunities to use his or her God-given abilities. Initially, their programs will benefit individuals and their families, then impact their neighborhoods and ultimately the world around them as these young people take their place as leaders in the culture they will help to form.

SJYA’s goals will be realized through special events and establishing community and youth centers that will provide after school and summer programs that will help to bolster healthy self-esteem in students; teaching them computer skills and cultural arts, tutoring (including G.E.D), child care, crisis intervention, health and fitness, and athletic training, including a variety of sports and activities.

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The board and staff of SJYA are comprised of fully-qualified teachers, counselors, executives, clergy, and professional athletes. Their expected result is to see generations of young people initiate positive changes that will affect not only their generation, but also generations to come.

Each year, SJYA hosts a 3-on -3 basketball tournament in the city of Vineland that reaches thousands of students. The purpose of the tournament is to give students an opportunity to compete in a structured environment earning awards and trophies. Families are encouraged to attend the event, bringing the community together. In 2005, the tournament is planned to expand to other communities, including Hamilton Township and Camden.

Several times a year, SJYA hosts youth groups for all-night events. These events include activities from swimming to disco bowling. Usually the event has a theme and a keynote speaker that focuses on issues relating to teen life. Students are kept busy with structured activities that promote community among the groups. Also, throughout the year SJYA brings key speakers to communities around southern New Jersey to speak to teenagers on various issues. Topics vary from religious themes to sexual abstinence. Groups of students are invited to come to these events to be inspired and encouraged in their life experiences. SJYA hosts 10,000 students at rallies.

SJYA works with students and leaders in established groups to facilitate the group’s development and overall growth. Within the parameters of SJYA’s expertise, they will train group leaders in the basics of successful group leadership. They will also attend the group itself to assess the dynamics of an individual group and recommend a course of action for the continued maturity of the group. Goals will be established and an implementation plan will be laid out, as well as a system for evaluation. They realize that groups are very effective if there are properly-trained leaders in place to accomplish their mission. SJYA serves 4 to 5 new groups annually. They are revising over 11 schools and 550 students weekly throughout South Jersey.

Some of the key speakers include some amazing folks! Reggie Dabbs is the number one speaker in America (according to NEA). Irving Fryar is a five time pro-bowler and played for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Redskins, the New England Patriots, and the Miami Dolphins, and works with the SJYA at various venues. Kevin Harvey is the team chaplain for the Sixers and inspires youth through an outreach program of the fellowship of Christian athletes. Lee Rouson is a former running back for the New York Giants and a two-time superbowl champ who shares his personal life experiences with students. Marc Woodard, Adam Bruckner, Harold Sutton, Steve Fitzhugh, Keith Elias, Harry Falherty, are some of the other notable speakers who work with SJYA to help young people overcome their unique challenges. SJYA serves 100,000 students annually through school assemblies. Call SJYA at (856) 498-5619 to schedule your next event.

SJYA is dedicated to the overall well-being of students. They are in public and private schools every week mentoring individuals and groups of students. They send mentors into schools all around the South Jersey area that listen and respond to the needs that students are facing. They believe that an individual can make a difference in their community and the world. As they work with individuals to help them overcome obstacles in their lives, they are seeing an improvement in the student’s lives and also in the overall culture of the schools they are servicing. SJYA believes that the overall health of students is increased when they remain abstinent until they make a marriage commitment. Not only does abstinence keep them safe from sexually transmitted disease, it also makes it impossible to cause an unwanted pregnancy. Pregnancy and STD statistics among students are out of control. SJYA works to promote abstinence in a variety of ways including training workshops, special events, and rallies. In doing this they are helping not only individual students, but families and entire communities as well.

Be sure to mark your calenderers for the SJYA’s upcoming 3-on-3 Tournaments. You can sign up on their website. There are two tournaments scheduled. One will be on September 24 and 25 in Vineland, NJ and the other will be held October 1 and 2 in Burlington County, NJ.

There are also many volunteer opportunities available with SJYA. If you live in the South Jersey area and would like to volunteer with SJYA please contact Preston Centuolo or Dan McAnney. They have various volunteer opportunities for people of all ages. You are invited to contact SJYA with any questions about the positions that are available. There is an application and screening process in order to work with children in their programs. They will provide the application at your request. For more information send an email to the President, Preston Centuolo at centuolo@aol.com with “I would like to volunteer for SJYA” in the subject line, or send an email to Dan McAnney at danmcanney@comcast.net.

“Elevate” is a gathering of young adults who want to worship God in spirit and truth. “Elevate” are services geared to inspire young adults to connect with God and one another through passionate worship, relevant teaching, and genuine fellowship. For more information on this faith-based group you can visit them on the web at www.elevatenj.org. Meetings are held every Monday night at 7:15pm at the First Baptist Church of Clayton. For more information, call (856) 256-1234 or visit www.Elevatenj.com or www.elevatenj.org.

For more information on SJYA, visit them on the web at www.sjya.com. Their mailing address is P.O. BOX 534, Vineland, NJ 08362. You may also contact Preston Centuolo, the President of SJYA, at (856) 498-5619.

For more on local Organizations, visit our South Jersey Organizations page.


Author: Margo Harvey

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