The Blue Ribbon Project

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The Blue Ribbon Project
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 9:00am

“Backpacks of Love” to Assist Victims of Child Abuse and Neglect

During the month of February, Charles County Government, in partnership with the La Plata Police Department, is supporting The Blue Ribbon Project’s Backpacks of Love program with several Charles County drop-off locations. The Backpacks of Love program supports victims of child abuse and neglect by providing children with a backpack of essential necessities to assist them the first 24 to 48 hours when they enter foster care at a moment’s notice. 

Backpacks are filled with age and gender specific items. If you are interested in building a backpack to donate or donating individual items, visit for a full list of items. 

County drop-off locations:
Charles County Government (200 Baltimore Street, La Plata)
Mattawoman Utilities Office (5310 Hawthorne Road, La Plata) 
Department of Public Works/ Department of Emergency Services (10430 Audie Lane, La Plata)
Department of Community Services (8190 Port Tobacco Road, Port Tobacco)
La Plata Police Department (101 La Grange Avenue, La Plata)

Those who would like to support the Backpacks of Love program with monetary donations, visit to learn more. If you would like to donate items from the comfort of your home, visit For more information about The Blue Ribbon Project, visit


Source: Capital Gazette Annapolis, MD

Aziah is one of the lucky ones.

The 11-year-old who spent the last six years in 11 foster homes will share Christmas morning with his new family — his forever family that adopted him last month.

He is one of nine siblings placed in foster care to remove them from a neglectful and abusive home. He was adopted Nov. 16, National Adoption Day, along with 11 other children in ceremonies at the county courthouse.

christmas photoBut now Aziah has found a safe grounding place.

“I feel excited, not having to move again. I hated moving,” the sixth-grader said. “ ’Tis the season to be jolly … I am happy.”

“It has been a journey, but we made it … Happily ever after,” he said, singing the last part.

The “we” means not only his family — mom and dad, Wendy and Chris Newcomb, and a baby sister the couple is adopting as well — but a team from Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services, counselors and his court-appointed special advocate case worker, Caryn Weaver.

There were still 142 children in foster care in the county at the end of November, nearly half the number of children who were in the foster system in 2005 when numbers peaked at 266.

A statewide effort to reduce the number of children in foster care, Place Matters, launched in 2007. The lives of children caught up in the foster system — bouncing from home to home, changing schools, social workers and families — become more chaotic the longer they are in the system.

Foster care and other rules preclude the Newcombs or anyone else from providing details about the environment from which Aziah was saved. One would only say it was heartbreaking..

See The Full Story about Aziah and his family in The Capital Gazette Newspaper

A former Bible study instructor at an Annapolis church was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing a child.

Erick Ernesto Granados-Zeledon, 39, of Edgewater, was arrested in June and charged with sex abuse of a minor and several related crimes. A 10-year-old child told investigators that Granados-Zeledon sexually abused him.

On Tuesday, Circuit Court Judge Michael Wachs sentenced him to 10 years in prison with five years probation. Granados-Zeledon is required to register as a tier three sex offender for the rest of his life and has been barred from any unsupervised contact with minors.


APD genericAn Edgewater man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday for sexual abuse of a minor, according to the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s office.

Gabriel Morales, 31, pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse of a minor on Oct. 4. On Monday, Circuit Court Judge Michele Jaklitsch sentenced him to 25 years, suspended all but 10 years of active incarceration, and 5 years of supervised probation upon release. Morales is required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to the State’s Attorney’s office.


59931F9E 0FED 425A 9688 72A459770FABA former Maryland City youth soccer coach received an 18-year prison sentence after he was convicted of sexually abusing a player earlier this year.

Eris Murray, 56, of Hanover was sentenced Wednesday by Circuit Court Judge Cathy Vitale after he was found guilty of sexual abuse of a minor, second degree sex offense and sodomy.

The player, now a teenager, told investigators last year Murray sexually assaulted him while he was staying at Murray's home on two occasions between 2008 and 2012.

He was between 8 and 12 years old during that period.

Read The Full Story In The Capital Newspaper



main image towne salute1An officer’s badge tends to be their most recognizable mark. But, how often do we see what’s beyond the badge?

Meet Taylor Pyles, Annapolis Police Department Detective with the Criminal Investigations Division and founder of the non-profit community organization, The Blue-Ribbon Project.

After a decade working as a disc jockey for WNAV 1430 AM in Annapolis, Pyles wanted to take part in something more rewarding, so he traded in his microphone for a badge at the Annapolis Police Department. After working five years in the Patrol Division, Pyles moved to the Criminal Investigations Division where he primarily investigates violent crimes and crimes against children.

As a former foster child himself, Pyles wanted a way to help others in the foster care system. In 2013, he developed a website as a resource for adult survivors of abuse complete with articles on mental health, drug addiction, and more.

Read The Full Article in What's Up? Magazine


spanierThree former Penn State officials are getting jail time for failing to report convicted sexual predator Jerry Sandusky to authorities.

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier and former vice president Gary Schultz will have to spend two months in jail. Former athletic director Tim Curley will spend three months in jail. The rest of their sentences will be served in house arrest.

Spanier, who received a sentence of four to 12 months, plans to appeal. Curley received a sentence of seven to 23 months, and Schultz was sentenced to six to 23 months. All three were also fined and ordered to perform community service.

Spanier was found guilty of one count of misdemeanor child endangerment, while Curley and Schultz pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children.

Sentencing guidelines had called for up to a year in prison.

Mike McQueary, a graduate coaching assistant, told administrators that he saw Sandusky molesting a boy in a football team shower in 2001. Spanier, Curley and Schultz didn't report Sandusky to child welfare authorities or police.

"Why Mr. Sandusky was allowed to continue to the Penn State facilities is beyond me," Judge John Boccabella said. "All three ignored the opportunity to put an end to [Sandusky's] crimes when they had a chance to do so."


Juvenile Sex Offenders

A sad fact is that sometimes children and teens are sex offenders. Some of these children may live in a home that is investigated for neglect and abuse, while others may be in foster case. It’s vital that the safety and wellbeing of children in these homes is looked after.


When a child is in a dangerous home environment, every effort should be made to get him or her to safety. However, healing doesn’t stop with providing a child with a safer home. Children who suffer abuse often continue to suffer in other ways long after they are separated from their abuser, showing symptoms years or even decades into adulthood. These symptoms can be devastating for them and their personal relationships.

Teenage suicide is a tragic event that is unfortunately more common than many people may realize. Though there is no one who is completely safe from this tragedy, some teens may be more at risk than others. People should always act if they believe that a friend or family member is exhibiting behavior typical of someone considering suicide. Dismissing the worry may lead to tragedy.


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