Surrey Wrap Program keeps kids out of gang life, says minister

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WATCH: A new program in Surrey is having a dramatically positive impact. Grace Ke reports on the youth who’ve made it through “Surrey Wrap” gang intervention with their lives, and their pride intact – Sep 8, 2016

Students in Surrey say they’re grateful for an anti-gang program aimed at youth who may be headed down the wrong path.

The Surrey Wrap program connects teens who may be at risk of entering a gang lifestyle with outreach workers, teachers and police. Together, they work at building trusting relationships, take part in recreational programs and keep the kids on track.

“I got expelled from one school but my second school that I got transferred to, I ended up graduating from there on time,” said one student named Ashley. “I’m really thankful for that.”

Another student, Bhuvan, said he didn’t think he would have graduated on time without the help of the program.

“I was going to school, I was going to a learning centre, but because of an incident they had to remove me from school, and that’s how I got into the Wrap Program,” he said.

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Public Safety Minister Mike Morris said the program helps create contributing members of society.

“I see those folks as becoming some real valuable, contributors to society and perhaps leaders to society as they further their education and become older within our communities,” said Morris.

Both Ashley and Bhuvan will be pursuing post-secondary education: Bhuvan will study to become an electrician and Ashley will take a course to become a massage therapist.

The Surrey Wrap Program started in 2009 and now has about 90 students taking part, with another 31 teens on the waitlist.

The province recently announced they would add $270,000 to help more students access the program.

With files from Grace Ke

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