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January 25, 2008

CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
(617) 961-6682


The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department recently paid a visit to the Grover Cleveland Middle School in Dorchester.

Deputy Abe Ayuso, representing the Department’s Choice Program, met with teens from the Young Men’s Empowerment Group to deliver the program’s message, which is designed to encourage children to respect themselves and others while preparing for their futures.

With respect as a main theme of the presentation, Deputy Ayuso also addressed such topics as bullying, civic participation, education, youth violence and weapons, the negative effects of CORI, self–esteem, following the Golden Rule, peer–pressure, substance abuse, and setting goals for a successful future.

“Now is the right time for you to start thinking about what it is that you want out of life,” said Deputy Ayuso as he spoke with the group. “Right now, your education is free. You should take advantage of it and start planning for a positive future. You have the power to make the right choices in your lives that will bring you success.”

Speaking about the themes presented to the group, Cleveland School teacher Malaguias Gomes said that the messages were clearly heard.

“As a feature of this group, we talk about crime and violence, respecting others, sexual harassment, drug use, and a lot of other topics,” said Gomes. “But to hear it from the source that it’s coming from – an officer from the Sheriff’s Department – I think it carries a different weight. They’re hearing it from someone who knows, someone who’s been there and can tell them that it’s not fun and games or cool to be in jail.”

“I also wanted them to know more about the CORI and how it can negatively affect them for the rest of their lives. I’m glad that the Sheriff’s Department has this program because it’s important for our young people to be able to hear about the different choices they can make in life and about being responsible for their actions.”

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