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March 29, 2012 Published in Non-Profits, Other News

Erick T. King Named Alexandria’s 2012 Ally In Prevention

SCAN named Erick T. King, Co-Founder of the Capital Youth Empowerment Program CYEP, as the 2012 Ally in Prevention for Alexandria. The award was given yesterday at SCAN's 10th Annual Allies in Prevention Awards Luncheon, where 4 other individuals were also recognized from Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William.

Erick with ABC7's Leon Harris and Judge Rideout. (Courtesy photo)

"These are the people making the news we want to report," said ABC7's Leon Harris, who emceed the event along with fellow news anchor Alison Starling.

Erick T. King is living proof that one person - or in his case, two brothers - can forever change a community. In 2008, with his brother Isaac, Erick founded the Capital Youth Empowerment Program, or CYEP. Erick is a probation officer in Arlington County, as well as a local business owner. He and his brother saw a void in the community when it came to treatment options for fathers involved in domestic violence, CPS and child abuse & neglect cases. As his nominator notes, Erick “saw a need in the community and built an organization to address it.” Investing their own money and time, the brothers made a commitment to make a difference through CYEP’s Fathers In Touch Program, which provides a 12-week fatherhood class along with three coordinated group activities—at NO COST to families—to help dads find support from their peers and strengthen their parenting skills.

“Show families that they are valuable to our community by investing in their lives," said Erick. "CYEP educates parents and teens about their value to their own families as well as the greater community. They learn that they must invest in themselves if they want to live up to their maximum potential.”

Less than four years since its launch, Erick’s program has helped more than 200 children and families in Alexandria and Fairfax, empowering fathers to be responsible, committed and nurturing parents and inspiring them to take on active roles in the lives of their children. Erick’s private company, King Brothers & Associates, has also provided affordable housing for families previously in low-income housing projects or homeless shelters. In 2010, CYEP won the NAACP Community Service Award in Alexandria and Fairfax. Earlier this month, the Northern Virginia Urban League honored Erick with the Next Generation of Leadership Award. But you don’t need to hear a list of awards to understand Erick’s impact. Just talk to any of the men who have gone through the program—they’ll express gratitude for the rare opportunity to find support, to talk openly about the unique challenges of fatherhood, and for the opportunity to pass on that strength to other men in the community.

Erick with ABC7's Alison Starling and SCAN Executive Director Sonia Quinonez. (Courtesy photo)

With support from Verizon, SCAN held the event to kick off its 2012 Northern Virginia Child Abuse Prevention Campaign, The Little Picture, and to recognize the heroes who are committed to protecting children and strengthening families across the region.

"Child abuse is a silent epidemic affecting the 'big picture' of our society in dramatic ways that are devastating both in terms of the financial costs of treatment, as well as in the human costs of suffering," said Doug Brammer, Director of Government Affairs with Verizon. "We look for strategic partners like SCAN with whom Verizon can collaborate to make Virginia a better place for children and families."

Last year, SCAN's campaign reached thousands of families across Northern Virginia and beyond through public education materials, TV appearances, radio shows and online tools. Learn more about the 2012 campaign, The Little Picture, at www.scanva.org/tlp

Local businesses can get involved with the new campaign as Pinwheel Partners. The pinwheel is the national symbol of support for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Learn more about Pinwheel Partners at www.scanva.org/pinwheels-for-prevention.htm

SCAN of Northern Virginia has been working for more than 20 years to build hope for children and families.  A nonprofit organization, SCAN’s mission is to promote the well-being of children, improve parent-child relations and prevent child abuse and neglect by educating the community about the scope, nature and consequences of child abuse and neglect and the importance of positive, nurturing parenting; providing direct parent education; and advocating for children in the community, the legislature and the courts.

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