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POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- A group of middle and high school students called Project Thunder spent Saturday taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the Dutchess County Jail.
The seven-year-old mentoring program for city of Poughkeepsie students works to inspire and motivate them, and to let students know where a couple bad decisions can lead.
The Alpha Phi Alpha sponsored group maintains space at Vassar College, offering tutoring and life skills workshops, with the goal of exposing students to places and ideas outside the city.
Vivianna Gonzalez, a Poughkeepsie 6th grader said, “You should stay on a path where you're following your teachers and your parents and you should stay out of this place, out of this prison."
Manuel Alfonso, a Poughkeepsie 6th grader said, “This isn't really a place you want to be, they told us if you have friends, choose them wisely."
Randall Johnson, the Project Thunder Founder said, “We're fortunate to have these great people come in and speak to our children and help educate them and help keep them on a path to success."
Last year, 92 percent of Project Thunder students made honor roll.