at-risk youth

photo of Pauly Belletti and Lisa Gonzalez

While the Ohio House speaker saga drags on, more than 150 bills are awaiting action. One is a measure that would preserve money for a program that serves more than 800 at-risk kids with severe behavioral needs each year.

Eight-year-old Pauly Belletti is an outgoing, energetic first grader in Parma.

“School is awesome.”

“Why is school awesome?”

“It's because you do cool stuff in art and do cool stuff in gym and do cool stuff in music.”

Pauly was diagnosed with autism at age 2. His mother Lisa Gonzalez says life hasn’t always been this good for Pauly.

City of Cleveland

The nation’s first publicly funded inner-city dirt bike park is being built in Cleveland with hopes of redirecting the swarms of dirt bike riders illegally using city streets. Backers say the park will reduce a dangerous nuisance, and generate revenue and create jobs. Others say the money could be better spent. 

Duane Deskins

Cleveland now has a cabinet-level chief to guide its new youth-violence prevention team.

Today Mayor Frank Jackson announced the appointment of Cuyahoga County’s lead juvenile division prosecutor, Duane Deskins, to the position. As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, Deskins will run a program that will attempt to cut youth violence by coordinating new and existing resources.

awakening heart scene
Steve Wagner / Cleveland Public Theater

A long-running Cleveland Public Theater summer program for at-risk youth has new funding to expand into the school year.

In today’s State of the Arts, WKSU’s Vivian Goodman goes backstage at the Student Theater Enrichment Program .


“No. Do not arrest this man. I am king. I don’t care who you are. You will lose your life. Then I’ll just have to lose it.”