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Project SAVE Celebrates Students Making Safe Choices

86% of Program Participants Remained Crime-Free

Regina Banks speaking

Regina Banks, Grants Manager with the Office of the California Attorney General, acknowledged the dedication of Project SAVE's students, families, Sacramento County Office of Education staff, and law enforcement professionals.

Sacramento-area students were honored on May 18 by community leaders and law enforcement officials for making safe choices. The students participated in Project SAVE (Safe Alternatives and Violence Education)—an innovative violence prevention program operated by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE).

During an evening reception held at the Sacramento Hilton Hotel-Arden West, more than 60 youth and their parents reminisced about their experiences attending Saturday classes of Project SAVE (Safe Alternatives and Violence Education).

The students, who ranged in age from 10 to 18 years, were referred to Project SAVE because of their involvement with violence or weapons possession. Along with a parent or guardian, each attended a day-long Project SAVE class taught by law enforcement professionals from the Sacramento Sheriffs Department, the Sacramento City Police Department, and Sacramento County Probation Department.

The Sacramento Kings, Sacramento Knights, and Sacramento Monarchs donated Junior Kings memberships to Project SAVE participants. The inspirational words of keynote speaker Micah Jacobson were followed by the announcement of Project SAVE Essay Contest winners. Law enforcement professionals who served as Project SAVE facilitators were honored and door prizes were awarded to lucky student winners. Cheryl Raney, Director of Sacramento County Office of Education Prevention and Student Services, made closing remarks.

Since the program started in March 1998, data have shown a success rate of 86%—meaning nearly nine out of ten students have remained crime-free.

Group photo

Joining in the celebration were (L-R): California State Assembly Representative Anthony Pescetti (R-Sacramento), Sacramento County County Probation Chief Verne Speirs, and County Superintendent of Schools Dr. David P. Meaney.

Steve Ly and Bret Burkhart

Project SAVE coordinator Sengsavang "Steve" Ly (left) greeted master of ceremonies Bret Burkhart of KGO NewsTalk 810.