Organization strives to reach youth to help prevent gun violence

Local News
INDEPENDENCE DAY
July 04 2021 12:00 am

ENSLEY, Ala. (WIAT) — In light of the recent shootings throughout the Birmingham area, one organization is reaching out to the youth in our community in an effort to help stop the ongoing gun violence.

Friday’s event was centered around helping teenagers at a local middle school to learn more about ways to cope with disagreements and not turn to violence.

The S.T.R.A.P organization hosted the event. Their mission is to help mentor youth in the community to live a life free of crime.

The founder of the organization, Donald Shepard tells us that he strives to promote conflict resolution throughout his message.

Students and faculty say this event helps start the conversation around ways of preventing gun violence.

“Parents need to monitor their children more often and children need to stop living a certain lifestyle because it’s cool,” said Makhi Fowler, a student at Holy Family Catholic Academy.

“Take back your children because if we don’t do that, then the streets will get them and there’s nothing in the streets but death, violence and gunfire,” said Regina McWilliams, a teacher at Holy Family Catholic Academy.

Many of the speakers at the event shared their own personal stories with the students about getting involved with the wrong crowds and then getting a new perspective on life outside of crime.

S.T.R.A.P organizers say they will continue to work with schools through the Birmingham community to hold more events like this one.

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