SJC to Host Counseling Workshop on Gang Violence

PATCHOGUE, NY – October 21, 2010 – St. Joseph’s College is pleased to welcome guest speaker Sergio R. Argueta to the counseling workshop, “Youth Gangs: Myth or Reality, You be the Judge,” on December 7 at 8:30 a.m. at the Islandia Marriott in Islandia, NY. Mr. Argueta, a former gang member, will speak about the history and present situation of gangs on Long Island and in New York State.

Mr. Argueta will present on this topic to members of the school counseling community. This workshop is one of a number of professional development opportunities offered by St. Joseph’s College for school counselors and administrators. Past workshops have focused on issues involving drug abuse, self-injury and cyber-bullying.

“Involvement in youth gangs is not a new phenomenon in our country, however, it’s a problem that has been escalating since the 1980s, particularly in suburban areas such as Long Island,” said Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Gigi Lamens. “It is our hope that this workshop will provide helpful information and strategies that school counselors and administrators can utilize to prevent their students from getting involved in gangs and in providing alternatives to gang involvement.”

The program will examine common myths and realities of gangs on Long Island and in New York State. Topics addressed will include multi-ethnic factors, gang recruitment, reasons for joining and the impact gang violence has on all members of a community.

Sergio Argueta left his violent gang lifestyle when a close friend was killed in a gang fight in 2000. As founder and executive director of S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth, Inc. (Struggling to Reunite our New Generation), an organization whose mission is to reduce gang violence and promote a variety of opportunities that offer peaceful alternatives, Mr. Argueta travels to schools around Long Island talking about his experiences as a gang leader and offering alternatives to youth who are at risk of becoming involved in gangs.

The workshop is free for school counselors and administrators. Registration is required, as seating is limited. For more information or register, call 631.687.4500.

About St. Joseph's College

St. Joseph's College has been dedicated to providing a diverse population of students in the New York metropolitan area with an affordable education rooted in the liberal arts tradition since 1916. Independent and coeducational, the College provides a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, aiming to prepare each student for a life characterized by integrity, intellectual and spiritual values, social responsibility, and service. With campuses located in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn and in Patchogue, Long Island, the College offers degrees in more than 29 majors, special course offerings and certificates, affiliated and pre-professional programs.

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