Monday, August 3, 2009

What kids think will end the violence here in Chicago

This past Friday, July 31st, students from the Mikva Challenge's Education, Teen Health, and Youth Safety Council's held a press conference at the Joyce Foundation briefing the media, politicians, and other leaders in Chicago on the survey they conducted, asking 758 Chicago Public School's Students on their views on youth violence. Mikva Challenge is a wonderful organization that teaches kids about civic responsibility and guides them in becoming activists in their community.

As we all know, violence in Chicago is at the forefront of the news right now(recommended reading is Mark Brown's column about attending the press conference here and Mary Mitchell's column about the Secretary of Education and former Chicago Public School's Superintendant, Arne Duncan's reaction to another shooting of a CPS student who had graduated from Von Steuben High School, where many of our Cabrini Connections kids go to school as well, here ) and it appears that the issue of violence in the community is at the forefront of kids' minds as well. The results of the survey are jarring and you should read what they have to say. Of course, as someone who is concerned with how tutoring and mentoring organizations impact the communities the serve, I was pleased to see that students consider "adult mentoring" as one of the best strategies for reducing youth violence. Hopefully donors and potential donors will take it from the source - the kids that these mentors work with - and realize the importance that these mentors have in these kids lives and realize that adult mentoring is one of the many ways of combatting youth violence.

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