Regina B. Schofield, Assistant Attorney General
Office of Justice Programs
Boys and Girls Clubs 2007 National Keystone Conference
March 16, 2007
Thank you, Jason.
I’m happy to be here today.
I was at your Keystone conference last year in Washington, DC, where you released the “Youth Report to America.”
I was impressed that this survey was developed and administered by teens!
According to the survey, you all are concerned about many things, including drugs, alcohol, and violence. Unfortunately, these issues are often connected. And they also often are the result of boredom, misdirected energy, or apathy.
That’s why it’s so important for adults to work with you to offer alternatives for filling your free time. And it’s why Boys and Girls Clubs are so important to many communities.
I’d like to briefly highlight how my office is working to address some of your concerns.
We all know that meth use is a problem across the country. In November 2006, the Boys and Girls Clubs was one of our partners during National Meth Awareness Day on November 30th. Clubs around the country organized public education activities that day.
One of the features of our partnership with you all is the MethSMART program, which is designed to steer you all away from meth by teaching you about the consequences of meth involvement and how to avoid risky behaviors.
My office recently awarded seed grants to eight tribal Boys and Girls Clubs programs to implement the MethSMART program.
We look forward to assessing the results of this exciting program.
We also have brought attention to Teen Dating Violence by participating in National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention in February.
About nine percent of high school students report having experienced physical violence in a dating relationship.
Despite the seriousness of this problem, we’re concerned that dating violence doesn’t receive the attention it deserves.
That’s why my office worked with the American Bar Association to develop and distribute a Teen Dating Violence Prevention Toolkit, which has been used by high schools and community organizations across the country.
We’re very concerned about crimes that are facilitated by computers. And our Project Safe Childhood promotes Internet safety by teaching young people, their parents, and their teachers about the safe use of the Internet.
Our partners at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have some excellent material on their Web site at www.ncmec.org.
I encourage you to make use of these resources.
There are so many other issues which affect all of you that I don’t have time to address…among them school safety and gangs.
I want you to know that we are working to improve your lives in all of these areas. We also have a Web site where you can find more information: www.ojp.usdoj.gov.
No one has easy answers to today’s challenges. We all have to work together to resolve them. I’m proud of my office’s productive partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs. And I’m proud of each of you for being club members and taking an active role in making your club and community a better place.
I hope you’ll keep up the good work, and I look forward to continuing to work with you. I’d like to offer my sincerest thanks for the work that you do to help your peers across the country.