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City invests in at-risk youth programs
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The Ceres City Council last week approved using $10,000 to assist Project Resolve with a Stanislaus County wide survey and pay for programs that assist high-risk youth. 

The funds come from the $40,000 grant issued by the state to the city in 2016 to offset costs and issues created by the early prisoner release program because of AB109 program. AB109 was signed into law in 2011 which shifted responsibility of housing inmates from the state to the local level by the decriminalization of certain crimes.

Of the funds, $3,600 will help fund a countywide community survey conducted by Project Resolve. Established in 2020, Project Resolve is a countywide network comprised of law enforcement leaders, elected officials and citizens to build and sustain trust and strong relationships between law enforcement and community through testing, learning, and adapting.

 In February 2021, Project Resolve conducted its first countywide survey to collect data regarding the feelings and perceptions of law enforcement. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department paid for the first survey. It has now been two years since the first survey and Project Resolve aims to conduct a second survey to determine if perceptions have shifted in either a positive or negative way.

The remaining $6,400 will be used to fund the Ceres Unified School District Lunch Mentoring program which assists high-risk youth. The program pairs up high school juniors over lunch once per month with community leaders, industry professionals, and trades people to help students involved navigate from high school to postsecondary education or employment. During the monthly lunch meetings, the mentors focus on professional development, such as interview skills and resume writing in addition to leading team building exercises with the students.