Baraka, United Way of Greater Newark relaunch Newark Thrives Youth Program Locator

Online tool aims to connect youth and families to city programs

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka joined United Way of Greater Newark CEO and President Catherine Wilson on Thursday at a news conference to relaunch the Newark Thrives Youth Program Locator. The program is a comprehensive multilingual online tool designed to seamlessly connect young people and their families with a wide range of educational and recreational programs throughout the city.

The news conference was held at the Boys & Girls Club of Newark, located at 1 Avon Ave. The Newark Thrives Youth Program Locator now features an intuitive interface that allows users to filter search results by location, age, interest, cost and availability, ensuring that every family can find programs that meet its unique needs.

The platform provides detailed information about each program, including schedules, activities, enrollment procedures and contact details. It also offers resources for children with special needs and supports multiple languages to accommodate all families in a diverse community.

“I want to thank the United Way of Greater Newark, Newark Thrives, the Boys & Girls Club of Newark and the three young people who showed tremendous innovation in enhancing this platform,” Baraka said.

“This tool will enable youth and families to engage in meaningful and structured environments to help advance their personal, cultural and social capacity — all at the same time. It also will allow caring institutions to put their information on this website, so they can attach themselves to a pipeline of young people who seek to enter their programs. They have created an opportunity to make this process easier for youth and their families.”

Last year, three youth from Gateway Academy and Donald M. Payne Sr. Technical School worked with a website development team to improve the existing site — redesigning it, choosing images, developing and proofreading copy, simplifying features and eliminating glitches.

The Arman Roy Foundation sponsored last year’s internship.

Attendees Thursday were treated to a live demonstration of the website’s features, showcasing how easy it is to navigate and utilize. Attendees experienced firsthand how the multilingual platform makes finding the right programs for children efficient and user-friendly.

“Today was a fantastic demonstration of what we can achieve when we come together to support our young people,” Wilson said. “The enthusiasm and positive feedback we’ve received are testaments to the vital need for such resources in our community. The Youth Program Locator is more than just a tool; it’s a bridge connecting our youth to a world of opportunity and support.”