INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Teens across our city make good decisions daily, some are working to make even better choices. It is difficult to do that in the face of adversity, like if you have lost a loved one to gun violence.
Youth involved in the New B.O.Y., or New Breed of Youth, program suffered loss like this. Additionally, they are connected to the youth justice system, or the program is working to prevent them from making a wrong choice.
“There’s not one young man here that has not lost a friend to gun violence in this city,” Founder Kareem Hines explained. “Not one. But they’ve become so desensitized to it through video games, the music that they listen to and they don’t know how to grieve. These young men don’t know how to grieve yet.”
Hines uses structured, social activities like “Guns Down Gloves Up” boxing to give his kids an outlet. They meet at Lawrence Community Park each Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.
“These young men make decisions and they don’t think about the consequences,” Hines explained. “So if we can get them to think about the consequences in the midst of making a decision, that’s a win.”
Davion Shaw has been a New B.O.Y. member for seven years. He encourages teens involved in other mentoring programs to join his friends.
“They’ve got a life ahead of them,” Shaw said. “The youth is our future. We don’t want to mess our future up cause if we mess our future up our world ain’t gonna be the same. It ain’t the same right now. The youth is already messed up right now. That’s why we gotta make it better, that’s why we gotta bring all of us together.”
Denaeja Ingram is a member of Inner Beauty, a nonprofit led by Chrystal Hines, Kareem’s wife. Ingram enjoys the physical activity at these weekly gatherings, and believes it does help our city’s youth.
“I think we just need to get a lot of kids out here that’s doing the wrong things and bring them in so they can start doing the right thing,” Ingram explained.