SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – It’s a discussion that has been ongoing for years now in Savannah, how to steer the younger population away from violent crime.
Savannah youth took part in a forum on the issues they see other teens struggling with.
The forum was the first for the F.I.R.E initiative started by a young man who was shot and paralyzed during a visit to Savannah. The acronym stands for Forgiveness, Introspection, Respect, and Education. He hopes the forum begins a new dialogue, one that Savannah youth say is not really happening.
“The youth are the future and if we don’t do something to safeguard that then where will we be.”
It’s a crime forum where no one really addressed Savannah’s crime problem, but more than the generation that is being swallowed up in it.
“There is a big disconnect in the community but when I say community I mean the older people and the younger people. Older people and younger people they are not connecting, the youth are not listening to the adults and it’s really because of approach,” says Semaj Clark.
Savannah teens and those who are actively returning to society from prison talk about who to look for to lead a positive life away from the streets.
“Every time somebody came into their life, they leave and so they don’t want to let nobody in,” Clark adds talking about why he thinks the older generation feels the younger will not listen to them.
In most of the discussion, teens brought up the lack of role models as well as positive people or things in their lives to keep from going down the wrong path.
“Instead of talking about the problems, we should do as much as we can to come up with solutions. In order to get the solution you have to go to the problem,” says Clark.
The problem of young lives taken too soon and for those who have done their time urge teens to find positive objectives in life.
“If I’ve told you nothing then let me tell you this, love yourself, be smart about what you do, you are precious, you have to value your life, yourself, your decisions, get an education because they can never take that from you,” says Chad McCoy who is recently returning to society from a prison sentence.