NEWARK, NJ – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office is hosting a youth conference on Friday, May 19 to address issues that affect teenage boys.

Over 200 male students from various high schools in Essex County are expected to attend the “Leadership to Transform Boys to Men” youth conference.   The goal of the one-day conference is to encourage young men to make positive choices and to inspire young men to become leaders in their communities.  

Students from Belleville, Bloomfield, East Orange and Newark are registered to attend. This invitation only youth conference will be held at the Essex County College Public Safety Academy, located at 250 Grove Avenue in Cedar Grove from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  

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Acting Prosecutor Murray is expected to deliver the welcome address. Hashim Garrett, motivational speaker, will inspire students to overcome obstacles to achieve their goals. Matt Stevens, author and educator, will provide a workshop on business etiquette and dress attire.  A panel discussion will be held to explore the multifaceted issues that young men face.  Panelists will include law enforcement officers, a community activist, a social worker and college students. 

Students will also participate in workshops that focus on making positive decisions, internet safety, gang violence and driver’s education. The purpose of the conference is for the students to leave with a better understanding of themselves and become inspired to become role models and leaders.  Many of the students who will attend this event have been negatively affected by violence in their communities.  

For more information, please contact Nicole Graves-Watson, Community Justice Coordinator at 973-621-4317 or via email at