S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth, Inc. is a youth, family and community development organization specializing in youth and gang violence prevention and intervention. S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth was built on the belief that the cure for our region’s gang epidemic is in educating and empowering our communities to provide alternatives for our youth. Through youth empowerment programs and activities that promote positive values, S.T.R.O.N.G. gives young men and women the tools to eliminate negative behaviors associated with involvement with gangs and violence.
S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth, Inc. was founded in June 2000 in response to the brutal murder of Uniondale resident Eric Rivera, by alleged gang members. Eric is just one name amongst millions affected by gang violence yearly across our nation. S.T.R.O.N.G. was the first youth- driven, multi-ethnic organization incorporated December 5, 2000 to address the issue of gang violence and work towards educating youth on the perils of living such a devastating lifestyle.
Sergio Argueta founded S.T.R.O.N.G. at a pinnacle point where he himself had just left gang life three years earlier. Sergio and Co-Founder Michael Hernandez were able to recruit volunteers who were pivotal in the success of the organization. S.T.R.O.N.G. launched community service projects highlighting positive attributes of our youth by doing park clean-ups, graffiti removal, and campaigns that urged legislators to provide alternatives and not just harsher penalties. With that, S.T.R.O.N.G. began building a foundation which allowed it to grow into what it is today.
Today, S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth, Inc. is one of the leading youth and gang prevention & intervention agencies in the Northeast region. Through workshops and presentations, S.T.R.O.N.G. has been able to spread its message of non-violence to well over 78,000 people and provide programming to over 800 youth on Long Island. S.T.R.O.N.G has also been able to foster great collaborations with community-based organizations, schools, law enforcement, clergy, and most importantly our youth. S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth’s Mission is to:
Reduce youth gang violence in our community
Assist youth who are seeking change when re-entering the community after incarceration
Empower youth & community to become proactive to issues affecting our community
Encourage youth to take pride in their community!
Serve as liaison between law enforcement, CBO’s, clergy, school administration and our youth