April 3, 2012
The White House plans on Wednesday to honor Emmett Folgert, the founder and executive director of the Dorchester Youth Collaborative, for his anti-youth violence work. Folgert is one of twelve people the Obama administration intends to recognize as part of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.
The Youth Collaborative serves 100 teens a day, mostly from the Fields Corner area, allowing them the space for activities such as break dancing or ping pong. Help in finding employment opportunities is also available.
“If you live in what the police consider a crime hotspot, the likelihood you will be a victim, a witness join a gang is 100 percent,” Folgert told the Reporter in a 2010 article. “The only way to avoid it is to provide some kind of alternative.”
The White House event starts at 2:30 p.m. A live feed will be available at www.whitehouse.gov/live.
“I have to say this – if I wasn’t a Bostonian, this wouldn’t have happened,” Folgert said on Tuesday night. “I’m literally here because of Boston. They respect people like me. They respect community-based organizations like DYC. We have our problems but we are a very collaborative city. We do work together.”
Folgert will receive a White House tour and a “Champion of Change” award.
“I’m proud leaders like these have found new and innovative ways to prevent youth violence,” Jon Carson, director of the White House’s office of public engagement, said in a statement. “If we’re going to combat violence and keep our kids safe, then we need to ensure we dedicate time and manpower to the issue. These leaders have done just that, and this is what makes them true champions for their communities and our country.”