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'Mega network' to support East Palo Alto youth

Nonprofits, law-enforcement agencies, residents unite to launch program

A broad range of nonprofits, government officials, law-enforcement agencies and East Palo Alto residents gathered Tuesday (May 17) to launch a "mega network" program focused on supporting East Palo Alto's youth.

The Mega-Network Continuum of Care/Youth Empowerment Strategies for Success coordinates a variety of organizations and agencies dedicated to helping the community's young people from 14 to 24 years old, Faye McNair-Knox, executive director of the neighborhood-improvement initiative One East Palo Alto, said.

"As a community, we have lacked the coordination and collaboration among those resources. Mega-Network Continuum of Care represents a longstanding effort to work collaboratively," McNair-Knox said.

The idea for the network started in reaction to gang violence and crime-related issues that have plagued East Palo Alto in recent years, she said. It evolved into a push to confront the systemic problems facing the city's young people and to centralize efforts to obtain funding and support from donors and government agencies.

"We started out on a path of crime prevention. Our young people have wide-ranging needs. Many are high-risk," she said.

Some of the organizations that will come together in the mega-network include One East Palo Alto, Nuestra Casa, Youth Community Services, the East Palo Alto Police Department, Girls to Women and the Sequoia High School District.

— Bay City News Service

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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