In a time of apparent economic slowdown and threat to national security, problems of drug and alcohol abuse, school dropout rates, teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, and youth homelessness go too often unrecognized, especially as these problems are most prevalent among low-income immigrant families, particularly in minority populations. The seriousness of the youth problems in our city has caused a growing sense of urgency among parents, immigrant communities and government agencies. However, while community mobilization, enhancement of economic power, services directed towards youth, and coordinated lobbying and advocacy measures may bring desired results in the long term, in the short term more immediate action needs to be taken to rectify the problems facing young people.
It is with this in mind that we constructed the Youth Program at COPO. COPO provides educational and social support for our youth. Our program provides access to free and high-quality educational programs designed to transform young people at risk to become effective citizens.The programs offer alternative activities to crime, drugs, and gangs,at the same time providing them with learning opportunities, career training, academic enhancement, leadership development, counseling/support services and stress reduction through meditation.