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SJC to Host Counseling Workshop on Gang Violence

October 20, 2010

PATCHOGUE, NY October 21, 2010 St. Josephs 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. Josephs 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, its 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.