Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Agriculture Committee and a Conferee on the Farm Bill Conference Committee, along with Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, announced a $35,000 USDA Rural Development grant to the Pemi Youth Center to support the renovation of a building for the afternoon teen center in Franklin. The center will provide after school mentoring, academic assistance, substance misuse prevention, and mental and emotional health services. As a member of the Farm Bill Conference Committee, Kuster has advocated for robust funding for the USDA Rural Development program in the 2018 Farm Bill.
"The Pemi Youth Center is an Empowerment Program which takes place during the hours of 2:30 - 5:30 pm and serves the youth, ages 10 - 17 at no cost to families,” said Melina Baker, Executive Director Pemi Youth Center in Plymouth. “Our mission is to provide a safe and welcoming environment where youth may gather outside of school to gain a sense of community, belonging, and self-esteem. By receiving this grant, we will be able to further our vision and provide the resources to help the youth become empowered to discover both their unique potential and the unity that we all share as human beings in efforts to cultivate a more loving, connected, and compassionate world. "
“We know that learning and growth does not stop at the end of the school day,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “This grant will allow Pemi Youth Services to reach more teens in Franklin with their after school programming to support academic success and raise awareness about the threat of substance use disorder. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I’ll continue to push for USDA Rural Development program funding so that we can continue to direct resources to rural communities throughout New Hampshire.”
“To prepare our children for success, we need to ensure they have the academic and emotional support they need to learn and thrive at school, in the community and at home,” said Shaheen. “This grant will bolster community programming and support for youth in Franklin, providing both educational assistance and substance misuse prevention. It’s critical that our kids have the resources and guidance they need during and after school, and I’ll continue to advocate for more community programming like this across the Granite State.”
“Ensuring that young people in communities across New Hampshire have the resources they need to live healthy, safe, and productive lives is critical to their future success and the strength of our state,” Senator Hassan said. “By investing in renovations at the Pemi Youth Center in Franklin, this USDA grant will help ensure that our young people in the region have a safe environment to go to after school. I’ll keep working to ensure that rural communities throughout the Granite State have the resources they need to help our young people thrive.”