Group hopes mentoring program curbs teen violence - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Group hopes mentoring program curbs violence among teens


There's a new program in Kansas City that hopes to push youth in the right direction.

One member helping to stop the violence is a teen girl who was shot in the face on the street. She fought for her life for three months and now, nearly a year later, she's actively involved in Stop the Violence KC.

It takes a lot for Chloe Johnson to take in the street where her life nearly ended in gunfire.

"I remember a guy, he was facing this way when he shot at me. That's why it hit me right here and went out this way," she said.

Eight others were also hit that night last June at the Redline Riders motorcycle club near 20th Street and Prospect Avenue. One man died.

"The doctor said I was going to die," Johnson said.

Torrance Ray is working to keep teens out of trouble with his group Stop the Violence KC.

"There are more good teens in the Kansas City community than there are bad teens," he said.

He believes the good kids fall victim to peer pressure.

"They don't really know how to step away and be their own person," Ray said.

He recently rolled out a new mentoring program that's calling on teens to become positive forces in their communities.

"Every time you turn on the news that's all you hear are teens out of control," Ray said.

He refers to the fights on the Country Club Plaza and last week's shooting outside the Kansas City Zoo that sent people running for cover. He's also calling on parents to be more involved.

"Do not settle for dropping them off at the zoo, the Plaza or any other event they can patronize. But know what your kids are doing, check up on them through the day," Ray said.

At the Stop the Violence KC meetings, Johnson shares her story.

"I want them to listen and know that violence is not a good thing. I want to stop the violence and live peacefully," she said.

The program provides older mentors for young people between 8 and 21 years old. They've only had one mentoring session so far, but said double the kids have signed up since then.

The program is currently helping about 20 teens and Ray says, even if they only reach one kid, it's making a difference.

Click here to learn more about the program and sign up either yourself and/or your child.

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