Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Area Business Groups Pledge $900,000 to Support At-Risk Youth, Related Programs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Area Business Groups Pledge $900,000 to Support At-Risk Youth, Related Programs

Article excerpt

Leaders in St. Louis' business, public safety and administrative sectors on Wednesday announced a $900,000 contribution to local organizations working to promote public safety, generate economic opportunities and provide social and educational services in north St. Louis.

The money is mainly going to support initiatives in neighborhoods with some of the city's highest violent crime rates -- an area roughly bounded by Vandeventer Avenue, Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, Goodfellow Boulevard and West Florissant Avenue.

"Those funds will be used in neighborhoods here near where we are today. In neighborhoods that are important, but that are also under a great deal of stress," said John Stupp Jr., president and CEO of Stupp Bros. Inc. and chairman of the Regional Business Council, a group founded in 2000 that represents large St. Louis area employers.

"That stress is felt by families, especially young people and the elderly," Stupp said at the news conference, which was held at Martin Luther King Head Start Center at 1437 Laurel Street

The contribution was made by more than 100 area business leaders, represented by both the Regional Business Council and Civic Progress, a group of heavy hitters formed in 1953.

The unrest in the St. Louis region after the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer, in part, sparked the organizations' interest in funding public safety initiatives.

Programs that will receive funding include the Urban League's Save our Sons program, which provides job training and education opportunities to at-risk young men; STL Youth Jobs, which teaches skills and connects high school students to summer employment opportunities; and the North Side Community School on North Euclid Avenue.

"By equipping young people with the skills, the opportunities, and the support they need to succeed, we will see new generations of St. …

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