BALTIMORE — Enough is what members of the Baltimore community are saying about youth violence. People say the recent tragedy of Nykayla Strawder, who was shot and killed by a nine-year-old child, has spurred major change.
The death of the 15-year-old has devastated the region and sparked a need for immediate action, for community leaders to invest more in youth, starting with a talent show.
Dozens of people came to the Arena Playhouse theater to watch a talent show to save the young, hoping to get children off the streets and empower them to invest in healthy outlets.
It encourages adults to pay special attention to children and to invest in building a better city for the next generation.
“She was the spark that took me out of my comfort zone. Now is the time for us to give back. You can’t rely on the police and elected officials, the community has to take a stand,” Willie said. Ray, founder and president of Save Another Youth Inc.
People who attended the event say youth violence has plagued the city of Baltimore, with too many parents burying their children instead of watching them grow. This summer, at least 25 teenagers were shot dead.
Loved ones like Strawder’s family say enough is enough.
“I’m broken, but I want to be able to help someone else, another child. That’s why I’m here, it’s not, it’s too late for my child… But I can save another young person. That’s why I “I’m here to try to help end this violence. We have to save our young children,” said Donyette McCray, Strawder’s aunt.
“This is the start of a real youth movement. Stop the violence, end the virus, a real youth movement. We want everyone to know, especially young people, that they are part of it, and they are going to lead us,” Ray said.
The organizers of Save Another Youth Inc plan to create more initiatives to help young people.
To get involved, call Reverend Ray at 443-392-5114.