ChevronTexaco Contributes $1 Million to Support Youth Anti-Violence Programs in District of Columbia Schools
National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise Expands Important Washington, D.C., Violence-Free Zone Initiative at East of the River Schools
WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 22, 2004 -- Receiving a financial infusion to help reduce school violence in the District of Columbia, the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (NCNE) today announced that ChevronTexaco is contributing $1 million to its Violence-Free Zone (VFZ) initiative. The funds will support the VFZ program in four D.C. schools.
"ChevronTexaco feels it is critical to support the students, families and community partners who work tirelessly to unify the District of Columbia's schools as safe places for learning," said Lisa Barry, vice president of government affairs for ChevronTexaco. "Our contribution is rooted in a strong belief that the power of partnerships effects positive change in local neighborhoods and communities."
The grant is the first major investment by a corporation in the VFZ program, which is implemented by local nonprofit East Capitol Center for Change at Davis Elementary, Fletcher-Johnson K-8, Kelly Miller Middle School and H.D. Woodson Senior High School. The funding guarantees the program will move forward during the 2004-2005 school year without interruption. The four East of the River schools are located in predominantly low-income, high crime areas. The grant also will help support the development of the model and adaptation by other locales around the country with a high rate of youth violence.
"We are gratified that ChevronTexaco understands and is investing in this unique and effective approach to reducing youth violence," said Robert L. Woodson, president of NCNE. "We believe it can radically change the lives of many young people in very positive ways. The key is investing in the neighborhood leaders who have the trust and confidence of young people in the community."
The District of Columbia leads the nation in statistics related to school violence, according to a 2003 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It ranks first in the nation for youths bringing weapons to school and being injured in fights and for a host of other negative indices. In the CDC study, 14 percent of D.C. students said they do not go to school because they feel unsafe.
Working with the NCNE, East Capitol Center for Change will expand its VFZ initiative. The program employs young people from the neighborhoods whose lives and character have been transformed. Because of their experiences, they have credibility, rapport and influence with students that go much deeper than that of teachers or police. They are key figures in a comprehensive program that starts in the neighborhoods, goes into elementary schools, middle schools and high schools and provides after-school, weekend and summer support.
The VFZ initiative was started by the NCNE in Washington, D.C., in 1997 after a successful intervention that brought peace among warring youth factions in the D.C.'s Benning Terrace neighborhood. The model also was adapted in some Dallas, Texas, schools, where attendance immediately increased by 93 percent, and test scores began to rise as the social climate was stabilized and learning could begin.
Founded in 1981 by Robert L. Woodson, Sr., the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise provides effective community and faith-based organizations with training and technical assistance, links them to sources of support and evaluates their experiences for public policy. NCNE has provided training and technical assistance to more than 2000 leaders of neighborhood organizations in 39 states.
Currently celebrating its 125th anniversary, ChevronTexaco is one of the world's leading energy companies. With more than 47,000 employees, ChevronTexaco conducts business in approximately 180 countries around the world, producing and transporting crude oil and natural gas, and marketing and distributing fuels and other energy products. ChevronTexaco is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information on ChevronTexaco is available at chevrontexaco.com
Updated: November 2004