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Renovation Project Could be a Haven to Help Syracuse Youth Grow and Succeed

Joseph Coudriet
Mercy Works

A long-time eyesore on South Salina Street in Syracuse could become a ‘lighthouse’ for the community and its youth.  That’s what former Rescue Mission Leader Clarence Jordan is calling the Vision Center that Mercy Worksis planning to build.  Jordan hopes a shining new façade and the youth programs that can be housed inside will boost the neighborhood.

"There's shootings going on every night, stabbings, young people are getting into trouble. This is going to be kind of a haven for young people, giving them an opportunity to make something of themselves. It's amazing when you give young people an opportunity to do something, that they grasp it."

Jordan hopes to start a new program to give job skills to 15 and 16-year-olds so they can start to become good employees at a young age.  Other things are already up and running, such as the Synergy program that offers internships to college students so they can develop leadership and goals.  That’s exactly what happened with Malcolm, who found he could apply himself once he had a direction.

"The same thing that you see as being a hindrance can be something that makes you that much stronger to where you say that 'Okay, if I can overcome this, then it'll be nothing for me to succeed once I get to that place that I want to go to.' Now, with little critical thinking, with little creativity, they can make something great out of something that may seem to be not so great."

Credit Chris Bolt / WAER
The groundbreaking ceremony for the Clarence Jordan Vision Center was held today, Tuesday, October 14th.

Also housed at the center will be robotics,  a mentoring program,  and ‘Teen Tech’ computer-skills training that gives the kids a laptop computer when they finish.  Mercy Works held a ground breaking today/Tuesday for the first phase of the Clarence Jordan Vision Center.

Mercy Works has developed many programs, like 'Synergy' and 'Teen Tech', to help the youth grow and succeed. The 'iCan Robotics Program' gets hands-on in building and programming robots. 'Vision Velocity' is another program offered by Mercy Works where elementary, middle, and high school students are engaged in "vision learning labs". 'Passport 2 Vision' is offered to high schools girls and their mothers with the purpose of building stronger relationships and developing a dream. Visit Mercy Work's websiteto learn more about these unique programs.