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Imperial County receives funds to help juvenile justice system

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia presents California Youth Reinvestment Grant to county officials.

EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY)- Ivonne Lara's life was changed forever after a fight with her sister resulted in her arrest.  She served six months of probation.

"I kept it to myself. I didn't want to talk to anybody. I felt like I didn't need help. I felt like I only knew what I was going through and nobody else."

But thanks to the support of the Right Track Program that helps at-risk youth like Ivonne, she's turning her life around.

"I'm doing everything I can to become a better version of myself and a better version of my mom. Because my mom did it on her own. She didn't need help. She didn't have any programs and I do."

And helping those who have been in her shoes.

Lara added, "A lot of people go through worse things than I went through in the past. And I want to be able to help them in making better decisions."

On Thursday,  the Imperial County Probation Department along with the Right Track Youth Services received a grant for over $830,000, to continue making these boys and girls in Imperial County a priority.

Fernando Jimenez, the Juvenile Probation Divison Manager said, "We want to make sure that kids do not enter the justice system. That there's preventive programs out there that'll stop them from juvenile hall settings. You know having a stable environment at home. Knowing that there's other resources."

Right Track Program Manager, Marisol Medina, believed in giving those who have broken the law a chance for redemption.

"Sometimes we need to take a step back. And really get to know the students for who they are. What they want to do and what really led them to make that mistake that they made."

Medina said funds from the grant will help 25 students annually from the Right Track Program get job skills to go into the workforce.

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Billy Khang

Billy Khang joined KYMA in January of 2018 as a Multimedia Journalist.

Arianna Shell

Arianna Shell started her position as a Sunrise reporter in August 2018 in Yuma, Arizona.

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