New York Medical College

Community Connection

Students Mentor At-risk Youth

Mentoring At-risk YouthEvery Thursday at 6 p.m. for the past two years, a group of about 16 first- and second year medical students, a Ph.D. candidate and a master’s student, alternating weekly in groups of 8, ring the buzzer of the secure detention center for youths, leave their book bags and purses in a locked room, and allow themselves to be escorted into a guarded, secure cafeteria.

There they play games, paint murals, judge rap offs, and just talk to the young people there, who range in age from 10 to 18 and for whom an average stay is about 25 days.

Nobody gives their full names, nobody talks about the crimes they are accused of and for at least an hour every week, the gap lessens.

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Page updated: June 28, 2012