Pathways to Peace promotes hope amid violence

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Going down the right path is not always an easy choice.

Just ask teenagers like Tymone Annah. It’s a conscious decision.

“Right now I work seven days a week. I’m a caddy at CCR and Oak Hill, and I work at Rec Center as a Junior Rec leader,” Annah said.

To Annah, keeping yourself busy and involved in the community is key.

“Making yourself busy. Finding goals. Dreams. Bigger than just Rochester. Trying to make it somewhere where you can put you, yourself, stable and your family,” Annah said.

Joining others along North Clinton Avenue Friday evening for Rochester’s Pathways to Peace Pop-Up Barbecue, Annah said when it comes to making the right decisions, all you have to do is look in the right places.

“There is love in the community. It may get stressful, but there’s other ways to do things besides violence,” Annah said.

It’s a point of view particularly profound from a young person. A growing number of the perpetrators — and victims — of crime in Rochester are children. According to the Rochester Police Department Open Data Portal, 25 percent of the shooting victims this year have been teenagers.

That’s why Beatriz Lebron, executive director of The Father Tracy Advocacy Center and vice president of the Rochester Board of Education, said she is so passionate about making her organization’s presence known in the community.

“This is really an icebreaker for us with the community and folks that are around here, so that it makes them curious about what other services. What else do you here? How can you help me?” Lebron said.

They hope to serve as an inspiration to teens like Annah who hope that more Pathways To Peace events show other teenagers in the neighborhood — who are staring at a fork in the road — that there is a different path.

“I’m with my father. I’m young so just trying to show other people that there is a different way,” Annah said.