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    Boston announces $500,000 in grants for youth programs

    Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross announced Tuesday the awarding of $500,000 in grants to 20 organizations that serve young people in the city.

    Each recipient was chosen to receive a $25,000 grant from the Boston Police Youth Development Fund to provide programs that enrich the lives of Boston’s young people.

    Speaking at the press conference at police headquarters, Walsh stressed the importance of giving young people the opportunity to pursue their passions.

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    “That’s what these grants make possible,” Walsh said. “Whether it’s job training, or actual employment, whether it’s arts and culture, leadership and mentoring, it’s about opening up new avenues and new opportunities for our young people.”

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    The grant recipients included All Dorchester Sports & Leadership’s educational enrichment programs; BalletRox, a nonprofit that runs in-school and after-school dance programs; the Dorchester Youth Collaborative; The Center for Teen Empowerment; Shooting Touch, a basketball program for girls; Roxbury Youthworks; Sociedad Latina’s STEAM Team; Urban Improv; and the Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center.

    Walsh said it’s programs like these that help keep youngsters out of trouble, and put them on a path to a better life.

    “These grants will strengthen and focus the work of these nonprofits, community groups, and city agencies,” Walsh said, “and they’ll help our young people rewrite their future.”

    City Council President Andrea Campbell joined Gross and Walsh in announcing the grants and said it was a “special day.”

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    “The jobs, skills, and relationships young people build through these programs are critical to breaking cycles of inequity, especially for young people of color, and ensuring they reach their God-given potentials,” Campbell said in a press release.

    Gross echoed those sentiments. “As Commissioner, my number one goal [is] to ensure all residents in Boston are safe — and that includes Boston’s young people,” Gross said in a press release. “We have the biggest opportunity to change lives by providing resources and support to Boston’s youth, and through these programs, we are able to positively impact lives and create a better city for all.”

    In addition to the announcement of these grants, city officials said Boston has applied for funding through the state’s Shannon Community Safety Initiative to further support programs that prevent youth violence.

    Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.