Scheduled Gun Violence Youth Summit takes place hours after another teenager was shot in city
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Gun violence here in the City of Rochester is a major issue both city, and state leaders are seeking a solution that will help solve the problem.
Wednesday, these leaders hosted a Gun Violence Youth Summit to hear what teens, and young adults have to say about the problem. News10NBC was there, and although this summit has been in the works for some time now, it came hours after yet another young teenager was shot, and wounded in the city.
“A lot of people I know, and care about have been taken away from me due to gun violence, and it’s very saddening to me,” said 16-year old Christopher Jean.
The Rochester Educational Opportunity Center was the site for the first of many gun violence youth summits. Although it was mostly attended by city, and state leaders, about 10 teenagers were also in attendance. Monroe County Legislator Ricky Frazier says the summit is a perfect place to hear from teens, and young adults.
“Many of them have had friends, or family members that have been impacted by gun violence. So I just think it’s important to not only hear their voice, but to also listen to possible solutions of how we can address it from their lens,” said Frazier.
Jean attends UPREP. He says besides losing family and friends to gun violence, he came to the summit for a good reason:
“If I’m at this summit and I hear ways to help fix these problems then I can use those ways to help fix my city, because I don’t want to be walking around this city, and just feel like my life is in danger every day,” said Jean.
City, state, and educational leaders took notes and suggestions on how to help reduce gun violence. They also asked the teens what adults can do to help make things better.
“What programs would you like to see at REOC?” asked Roosevelt Mareus, Dean of the REOC.
“Gaming is a big thing now,” answered a UPREP student. He continued, “A lot of people today is very interested in buying houses. Financial literacy can be a good one.”
Fellow classmate Dallas Harris says today’s youth need more adult mentors.
“But not just any mentors, but mentors that like understand where that kid is coming from, and so like they can understand how to like handle that situation, or even help that particular kid,” said Harris.
Another teen we spoke with said right now there’s a big generational divide between both young, and old. Isaiah Santiago said, once that gap has been reconnected, and trust has been restored, the problem of youth gun violence could very well end.