The Sacramento County Probation Department honored the YMCA and the California Endowment for their collaborative efforts to provide opportunities for at-risk youth in Sacramento County. The Youth Detention Facility hosted a pool event featuring special guests Board of Supervisor Phil Serna and Olympian Debbie Meyer on Thursday, August 13.
Established this year, collaboration between the California Endowment, YMCA of Superior California, and the Sacramento County Probation Department stems from the 2011 Blue Ribbon Commission Steering Committee’s specific recommendations on how to reduce the number of African American child deaths in Sacramento County. The YMCA began conducting swim lessons this summer for residents detained at the Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility, which were funded by the California Endowment. YMCA’s services included swim lessons, water safety and lifeguard services.
Assistant Chief Probation Officer Mike Shores stated, “The Sacramento County Probation Department is fortunate to have one of the few remaining swimming pools inside a detention facility, and we are proud to utilize this valuable resource in partnership with the California Endowment and the YMCA to teach our kids how to swim, how to stay safe in the water and, in the near future, to seek a job as a lifeguard. The data clearly shows that youth of color, and in particular African-American youth, drown at much higher rates than other youth. It is our hope that this work will not only save lives but lead to richer life experiences.”
“I learned how to swim from the pool program. I would have never become a swimmer if it wasn’t offered here. The pool program is one of the top three most positive things about the Youth Detention Facility,” said Youth Detention Facility resident Devin B.