What’s the key to curbing the city’s crime rate?
Rush wide receiver Reggie Gray said it’s about investing time and effort into the community.
“If there are more activities for these guys to do inside, it’ll keep them off the street,” said Gray, whose full-time job involves working with at-risk youths. “I’m an example of that. Instead of smoking weed, I was shooting baskets in a gym. The youth are killing the youth because they don’t have anything else to do.”
But both he Gwen Adams, his supervisor at Youth Outreach Services, agree that’s just one piece of the puzzle.
While there are people out there like Gray who turned their backs on gangs in favor of a college degree, too few come back to help kids fighting the same battles they once fought.
“Some people fall back into their old lives, others want to escape it and move on,” Adams said.
“We need more mentors out in the community to let them know they have school, they have college,” Gray added.
Adams said she’s always looking for role models to get involved with Youth Outreach Services on the volunteer and professional levels. To learn more about how to help, visit yos.org.