HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito was in Holyoke Tuesday morning as part of the state’s Safe and Successful Youth initiative. 

Polito visited ROCA in Holyoke, which is an organization that’s taking part in this initiative. It’s designed to help young men leave streets and gangs and become contributing members of society. 

The organization is being offered to women this year and is currently in its pilot program. 

The Baker-Polito Administration increased funding of the initiative by 23 percent to help the program expand to young women. 

“It’s important because these are young men and women who are growing up here in the community and we need them to succeed and be an integral part of the next generation in that community,” said Lt. Gov. Polito. 

More than 1,800 young men and women are involved with the state’s initiative each year. 

Find 22News on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to reportit@wwlp.com.