The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department Gang Resistance Education and Training program received a $1,000 boost Friday thanks to the contribution of a local business.
Deputy Michelle Ugalde received the donation on behalf of the department, presented by Eli Guzman of Guzman’s Sport Karate and Kickboxing.
Guzman said his company regularly donates to local charities and organizations that demonstrate a dedication to positive examples for today’s youth.
“The G.R.E.A.T. program is a vital tool in this community because it actively works to help reduce gang activity, and educates our youth that there are other options aside from gang involvement and drug abuse,” Guzman said.
G.R.E.A.T. engages students in several character-building strategies that help them deal with stressful adolescent situations, like gang involvement or drug activity among peers in their schools and neighborhoods. The program is taught at middle schools throughout Doña Ana County and is made possible through grant funding.
The program has been an extension of the Community Policing Division of the department since 2005, organized and taught by Ugalde.