Youth advocates plead with adults to serve as mentors in wake of public safety crisis in Indy

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Tragically, hundreds of people have been killed in Indy already this year. To combat this heartache, we are working to connect our hurting community to resources, especially our youth.

Fortunately, Indy has many programs available for our young people. But, more committed adults are needed to serve as mentors.

“Mentoring is so simple,” Brandon Randall, Director of Engagement at VOICES Corp., said. “Find an organization that aligns with your values and just simply get involved.”

The Bloom Project, Inc. is hosting two virtual presentations focused on overcoming trauma for teens ages 12 to 18. Randall is presenting on Saturday morning from 10:30 until noon on community trauma.

“If you are surrounded by love, light and affirmation, then it creates this barrier that blocks out additional negativity,” Randall said.

Friday, Clinician Tyrone Humphrey presented to the students on trauma.

“I hope that they walk away with a whole new concept about how they perceive trauma, how they can identify trauma within themselves and have those transparent vulnerable opportunities with individuals that are very near to them in their lives to be able to learn how to heal from their trauma, whatever that looks like,” Humphrey said before the workshop.

Bloom Project student, or king as the students are lovingly referred to, Jacob Gonzalez said the organization makes him feel powerful and respectable. He also loves having adults to lean on.

“Young people, if not led the right way, can be led astray,” Gonzalez said. “Honestly, that’s very disappointing, but as long as we have places like the Bloom Project and mentors that can guide us in the right direction, I feel like it’s a powerful thing.”

Adult facilitators hope connecting young people will strengthen their families and lead to more solid communities.

“We can’t just look at it as, ‘Oh, that’s sad,’ and then just go about our day,” Randall said of the violence. “Everybody has to find a way to get involved because everybody has the capacity to make a difference.”

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