For those who live in the inner cities of the United States, there can be few choices. Unfortunately, as we all read about, gang related activities can seem like an attractive option for many inner city kids. In Boston, this is certainly the case. As the number of homicides related to gang activity rose slightly in 2016, it continues to be a top priority for police, community leaders and businesses alike. This is why providing meaningful alternatives to gang activity, breaking the cycle of violence and creating opportunities to change is so important. For many, education can be that opportunity.
It’s for this reason that we continue to sponsor the work done by College Bound in Boston. This non-profit organization works to get troubled kids and young adults off the streets by providing an alternative to gangs and violence. College Bound provides education and support for disconnected young people who are driving much of the violence on the streets.
And don’t just take my word for it, College Bound is making a difference. This year alone they have helped more than 230 kids, reduced the rate at which those convicted of a crime return to criminal activity by more than 70 percent and helped more than 90 kids in college.
All of us at Comtrade Software are passionate spokespeople for the organization. I am currently a Board member and along with Comtrade Software have helped raise money to keep existing programs running and help with new programs like Boston Uncornered – a three-year initiative that works with gang-involved youth to support them on a path from the street corner to college. Comtrade Software has heavily invested in College Bound over the past few years and many members of the team have spent time with counsellors and students alike to better understand how to help and support College Bound’s efforts. The photo above is from one of our recent visits. Also recently Alexis Lope-Bello was able to sit down and talk with a number of students about alternatives to gang-related activities. And, last week, at this year’s Annual College Bound Gala, I was proud to attend the event with many members of my team along with Comtrade’s founder and chairman Veselin Jevrosimovic. It was inspiring to hear directly from the students who have been able to overcome insurmountable odds to be where they are today. These combined experiences make Comtrade Software’s investments all the more rewarding.
This year’s Annual Gala did a great job recognizing the success of the program and Comtrade Software was proud to sponsor the event and take part in the celebration with community leaders, educators, business leaders, government officials, police and the youth themselves. While College Bound continues to make a difference, so does Comtrade Software.
We couldn’t be prouder to be opening doors to a brighter future for so many youth’s lives in Boston!