City leaders in Lexington working to reduce gun violence amongst young people

Despite two shootings over the weekend, one in which a 19-year-old was killed, the other an 18-year-old was arrested, One Lexington leaders do say gun...
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 10:44 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Despite two shootings over the weekend, one in which a 19-year-old was killed, the other an 18-year-old was arrested, One Lexington leaders do say gun violence impacting youth and young adults is actually down from last year. And in some areas, by a significant amount.

“Socialization is huge when you’re talking about young people growing up. That was one part they were missing through the pandemic,” said Briana Persley, the interim executive director of Partners for Youth.

Persley said that’s one reason they created their summer youth job training program. Young people could work 20-hour weeks, gaining real career experience at different companies. They already have 65 free programs planned this school year.

“That time that they’re actually doing something that is constructive. Doing something that will help them grow into young, productive ladies and gentlemen. Things that will help them look outside of their neighborhood so they know what’s available as resources to them should they ever need it,” Persley said.

Positive youth programs that Persley said are extremely preventative to keep kids from getting into trouble. And she said they do seem to be working.

“It just really reinforces that positive youth development to help them with mental health that they were really struggling with during the pandemic,” Persley said.

This year’s youth partnership “I Do” programs are open to school-aged children in Fayette County Public Schools. They have everything from athletics and arts programs to tutoring and mentorship.

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