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City of Norfolk brings back 'Norfolk Nighthawks' summer program for young adults

While program leaders are ready to get started, they say they need one thing: volunteers.

NORFOLK, Va. — A program geared toward keeping teens out of trouble is back in Norfolk.

City officials said the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the "Norfolk Nighthawks" for the past two years.

The Nighthawks aims to keep young adults, 18 and older, safe and out of trouble with a basketball program on Friday and Saturday nights through the summer, beginning July 1. It will run from 9 p.m. until midnight.

In addition to b-ball, the program aims to offer employment opportunities, professional development, G.E.D. enrollment, healthcare services, and more.

“This is a great thing for the community as we look to just give everybody an opportunity for success,” said Travis Barnes, the co-founder of the "Community Recreational Outreach Wellness Network". C.R.O.W.N. is one of several different organizations joining together for this year's Norfolk Nighthawks.

Barnes said he wants teens and young adults who are a part of the program to be prepared for the future.

“We’ll have GED programs, we’ll have apprenticeship programs. We have opportunities -- even young ladies to get exposed to the cosmetology world -- and we have the opportunity for a second-chance opportunity and we have financial literacy.”

According to Barnes, the basketball games will take place at the Huntersville Community Center, Young Terrace Community Center, and the Southside Boys and Girls Club.

“They don’t have to travel far, they don’t have to go across the city; your team is right there in your neighborhood and we make it easy and we wanna make it fun but most of all I want to empower everyone to be better.”

While program leaders are ready to get started, they say they need one thing: volunteers.

“If you have the time, if you have the resources, prayers, everything... we want everybody to get behind this because we want this to go beyond Norfolk,” Barnes said.

If you're interested in volunteering, contact the C.R.O.W.N. Project by emailing them at crownproject2021@gmail.com.

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