Escondido, CA
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R.E.S.P.E.C.T: Responsibility, Ethics, Strength, Perseverance, Education, Courage and Trustworthiness. Those are the qualities the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, through a collaborative effort that involves community groups, faith-based organizations, business and community leaders, is trying to instill in North County’s at-risk teens.
A character building and mentoring program serving North County, the RESPECT Project began in 2014 and is headquartered at the San Marcos Sheriff’s sub-station in my Assembly District. The program lasts about three months and has graduated 84 teens who have participated in 7 three-month programs. Students meet once a week with deputies and community members who have volunteered to teach core topics related to character development. Speakers may include deputies, reformed gang members, athletes and local business leaders who have been invited to share their stories and insights.
Most students involved in the program are 13 to 18 years of age, considered “at-risk,” and have been referred to the RESPECT Project by the courts, their schools, or by social workers. The program seeks to reduce delinquency and offer comprehensive resources for students and their families. Providing alternatives to street gangs, improved decision making skills, eliminating substance abuse and reducing levels of recidivism are all Project objectives.
Classes provide students with positive role models, healthy relationships, and perhaps most importantly, hope for a happy and productive future. If you would like to refer a teen to the program, please visit the Sheriff’s RESPECT Project website at:
The RESPECT Project is another example that demonstrates law enforcement’s ongoing commitment to public safety, community enhancement, and safer, more secure lives for all. Our San Diego Sheriffs are doing a great service helping our young people learn important principles that lead to productive lives.
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Minority Floor Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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