2015-2016 TPPB Annual Report

During the 2015-2016 year, TPPB continued its efforts to develop evidence-based proposals to address recurrent and pressing issues that face youth in Trenton. This past year marked a year of transition as the board began operating under the new leadership of co-chairs Marygrace Billek and Michael Nordquist, as well as the departure of TPPB staff manager Sarah Aubrey in October of 2015. With this transition came a new focus on the structure and goals of TPPB, and an effort to highlight and define TPPB’s internal processes and external outputs.

This report documents the need for creative and evidence-based solutions, progress on past TPPB-initiated efforts, as well as proposed solutions to three key concerns that affect Trenton youth, specifically mentoring, family engagement, and structural unemployment.

The first section, State of Trenton Youth update, provides recent data on trends and characteristics that influence the ability of youth to succeed. Gathered from the most recently available public sources, this update compares local- and state-level data around several key indicators of positive youth development, and highlights the continued needs of youth in the city of Trenton.

The second section provides brief progress reports on TPPB-initiated projects, including the Trenton Violence Reduction Strategy, Trauma-Informed Mental Health training, and Youth Empowerment Project, among others.

The third sections contains the three policy proposals designed to address current issues that Trenton youth face. This includes:

  • Family Engagement
  • Mentoring
  • Structural Unemployment

In addition, we provide a summary of ongoing research that working groups are exploring, including Youth Courts and Positive Behavior Support in schools.

This report was produced in collaboration with several faculty members, staff, students, AmeriCorps, and AmeriCorps VISTA members from The College of New Jersey who provided research and information to support the recommendations included below. Thank you to Drs. Diane Bates, He Len Chung, and Stuart Roe, AmeriCorps VISTA Ciara Colleton, TCNJ CELR Center staff members Brittany Aydelotte, Heather Camp, Megan Nicholson, Karina Lopez, Adams Sibley, Ryan Dawson, Paula Figueroa-Vega, PolicyOptions instructor Brandon McKoy, and TCNJ students Tyler Holzer, Dillon McNamara, and Deanna Magda. We would also like to thank our meeting presenters, including Afnan Rashid, Alex Rivera, Jeff Wilkerson, and Regine Saintilien. Thanks also to the TPPB co-chairs, Liz Casparian, Kim Cody, Alison Daks, Rob Fiorello, Charles Peters, and Robert Taylor. Finally, our thanks to the members of TPPB and the organizations they represent for their commitment to positive youth development in Trenton.

Additional documentation can be found at http://tppb.pages.tcnj.edu/2016annualreport/