106 & Park Co-Host & Boston Native FREE Implements Free4life Foundation Program on Teen Dating Violence Intervention


106 & Park Co-Host & Boston Native FREE Implements Free4life Foundation Program on Teen Dating Violence Intervention at Boston's FleetCenter.

Dorchester native and TV/recording star FREE will implement Lessons4Life Teen Dating Violence Intervention Program on Thursday, October 9, 2003 at 6:00pm. This first phase of the Free4Life Foundation's program initiative will be held at Legends, the VIP club/restaurant at the FleetCenter in Boston. In conjunction with CCHERS and the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center (NYVPRC), 50 middle-school youth will begin a unique 10-week project that will educate them on the important issue of Teen Dating Violence - its consequences and prevention. Founder of WARM2Kids, Inc. and Boston Celtics legend, M.L. Carr, will also be on hand to show support and present WARM2Kids memberships to the Free4Life Foundation.

The goal of the Lessons4Life Teen Dating Violence Intervention Program will be to empower youth to be peer advocates and teach them about marketing, advertising and public relations. The teens will then be challenged to create public service campaigns of their own to be entered into a contest. The winning campaigns will be featured on M.L. Carr's new website for teens, www.WARM2KIDS.com and in national magazines. This unique intervention initiative includes program staff from Bowdoin St. Health Center, Codman Sq. Health Center, Dorchester House Multi-Service Center, The Close to Home Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative, Transition House shelter, CCHERS domestic violence partnership The Community Advocacy Program, and the Free4Life Foundation.

Free's claim to fame came when she was chosen as the host of BET's 106 & Park, the top rated music video show that airs nightly on BET. Alongside her hosting duties, Free is also set to release her debut album on Elektra Records in the spring of 2004. A preview of her musical style is featured in the current video from the soundtrack to the "Fighting Temptations" and featuring Grammy award winners Beyonce & Missy Elliott. The Dorchester native is proud to be able to give back to the community that has helped to mold her into the woman she is today. "To be able to start a foundation and have it begin in my hometown is overwhelming. The Boston community has been unbelievable. And I'm just as excited about the young people who are interested in the programs that we are creating. My hope is that the education and support they receive will change their lives forever."

The Lessons4Life initiative will run as an after-school program on Thursdays, starting October 9 and ending on December 18, 2003, and involves girls and boys in grades 6-8. Two CCHERS partner sites (Bowdoin Health Street Center and Dorchester House Multi-Service Center) will house the Lessons4Life project.

About Free4Life Foundation

Established by Free in 2002, the mission of the Free4Life Foundation is to create opportunities that support, encourage and strengthen the development of young people in Boston's inner city neighborhoods. The critical focus areas of the foundation will be Financial Literacy, access to Creative Arts programming and Teen Dating Violence Intervention.

About The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center

The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center (NYVPRC) was established as a central source of information on violence committed by and against young people. NYVPRC is a partnership of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other Federal agencies, including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, and Justice. For more information,log on to www.safeyouth.org or by calling 1-866-SAFEYOUTH.