Essex County Youth Leadership Academy
Since the initial award was received in 2009, the Essex County, MA Sheriff’s Department (ECSD) and the New England HIDTA partner to augment the ECSD’s Youth Leadership Academy. The ECSD’s Youth Leadership Academy is a summer program designed to offer at-risk children, ages 8-15, a safe, challenging, and fun atmosphere through the completion of various projects and classes. This drug, alcohol and tobacco free program provides instruction in anger management, ethics, peer counseling, teamwork, illegal drug use, and cooperation in a gang-free and drug-free environment. The Academy is offered at no-cost to families in all (34) cities and towns in Essex County, Massachusetts. The seven-week Academy typically sees approximately 525 participants from the most at-risk communities in Essex County. Furthermore, on average, more than 30 local businesses and organizations from both the public and private sectors participate or make a contribution to the Academy’s activities.