Friday, April 20, 2012

Global Youth Service Day

Today was a refreshing day with The High School for Public Service during their 8th Annual Global Youth Service Day. #GYSD The day began with our Program Coordinator, Marlon Peterson, speaking at a school rally at the High School for Public Service about the importance of volunteers in the work that we do. From there Marlon, two teachers, and 25 ninth and tenth graders walked from Kingston Avenue and Winthrop to the YOasis. One of the students said during the walk, "I've never seen this part of the neighborhood."

Once we reached the YOasis and the teens were given a brief introduction to S.O.S. and YO S.O.S., we grouped off and sent into the neighborhood to conduct "virtual shooting responses" with store owners along St. Johns Avenue from Kingston Avenue to Utica Avenue. The students went into stores to ask employees and owners to discuss violence with us. Merchants wrote their own messages. One merchant spent nearly 30 minutes translating his message into English on his phone so that he could share his story.

The students from HSPS walked around Crown Heights asking people to open their stores and their hearts for a moment to discuss gun violence. The results was awe inspiring. Tons of merchants spoke to us and one Crown Heights resident who has lived in the neighborhood for over 20 years said, "wow it's amazing to see these young people out here doing this."

The HSPS students were able to get 18 different store merchants to create virtual shooting response posters. Amazing! All of the posters can be seen on our facebook page.

Another highlight was running into Rudy Suggs, an S.O.S. Violence Interrupter. Although on vacation, Rudy stopped for about 20 minutes to speak with the teens on the street. He was conducting class in the streets, the old school way, the way "the corner" was intended to be used.

Once we returned to the YOasis, we can an equally powerful debriefing of their day in the neighborhood representing SOS and YO SOS. Thank to HSPS for sharing this special day with us. YOUTH POWER!

YO S.O.S. At The Department of Probation

On April 11th 2012 we spoke with a group teens at the New York City Department of Probation about: The Problem, Transmission, and how to Cure gun violence. We had a great raising awareness dialogue with a room of about 25 teens and 5+probation staff. It felt great. We are planting seeds that violence is NOT NORMAL one conversation at a time.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Youth Organizer, Melissa Scott, on YO S.O.S.

 "By taking part in this program I've grown as an individual. I've learned how to self-sacrifice, to put forth for the community. It's hands on experience with the world. I don't think I can find a better place that exposes us to realities of the world and steps out with us. It is reaching out to the community and making it a part of our family." Melissa Scott, 16.

Monday, April 2, 2012

YOLO, huh?

by  Nickeisha Gaynor, Youth Organizer

Y.O.L.O. the moto means You Only Live Once.

"You only live once," Drake is saying you only live once however the way some teens are taking it is to live their life whichever way they please because they’re saying "YOLO you only live once." Their making fast money, drinking, smoking getting high like it is funny. And you think that’s the way to live. Walking around the corner ducking and dogging your problems.

That’s no way to live.

Get an education, getting a life you could be proud of making money that doesn’t have blood on it.  Rappers give you a life style nowadays that people are trying to live up to but fail to succeed. Results in youths dying -- transmitted though these rappers in their rapping videos, they shooting people, showing off silver and gold.

You only live once? Which way are you going to choose to live?