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Struggling Washington Heights Teens Break Out of Barrio

Posted on March 9, 2016 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

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Washington Heights teens explore Little Italy – a subway and a world away

Let’s face it. With no roadmap, no guide, too many struggling New York teens like many we serve in Washington Heights have little idea about our city’s dazzling opportunities that lie just outside the aging barrios where they grow up.  That’s why Catholic Charities Alianza Division offers “Neighborhood Explores” to inner-city teens participating in our In-School Youth program.

And what better neighborhood to explore than the one we helped them discover last Friday, March 4!

Guess which neighborhood?  You got it. Little Italy.

With its narrow streets and fairytale names like Mulberry and Mott, its restaurants wafting scents of garlic and olive oil, its ethnic feasts; its sense of place – for our teens it was like breaking out of the barrio and entering another world.

Catholic Charities Alianza Division provides services for youth ages 5 to 21 years old, promoting a world view that extends far beyond the streets where they live. 

Teens were introduced to Italian culture – its music, art and hospitality. And they spent it in the best place in Italy to take this all in.  Yes, one of Little Italy’s famed white table clothed, brick walled restaurants, in this case, Da’ Nico.

The night was not just a blast, a chance to break out of the barrio, these Washington Heights teens say, it was a chance to begin building a better life.

Learn more about Catholic Charities Alianza Division.

Catholic Charities is responding to the needs of our neighbors during the 
COVID-19 pandemic.

For Help Call 888-744-7900