Newark launches re-engagement center to reconnect youth with education

The city of Newark held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday for the opening of its Re-engagement Center, a facility that reconnects young people with education and career paths.

"They are the reason I have two jobs, I’m getting in school, I’m going to Rutgers soon in the fall, they helped me with all going on in my life right now. I’m very thankful," said Stephan Young, who is enrolled in the program.

Young, 25, was incarcerated and says he realized in prison he wanted to change his life around for his son. 

"After being in prison and seeing it was a revolving door, it was not making any sense to me," he said.

The re-engagement center, he says, has given him a second chance.

The hub is located on McCarter Highway and is a collaboration between the city of Newark and Newark public schools.

According to city stats, before 2020, about 4,000 men and women under the age of 21, were not enrolled in school.

The program is designed for those 13 to 24- years old. Students 21 or over who have aged out of city schools will be referred to GED and high school equivalency programs.

Aside from school or a job, the center also offers social support and personal services.