Violence Awareness Assembly
March 19, 2015
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There’s a lot of incidents going on in our community due to gang, domestic, and police violence. Luther Keith also known as “Boo” in our King/Drew campus is someone who patrols our neighborhood and helps to keep the violence down. He also has a group home where he monitors young African American and Latino children. Boo says he gives them little freedom but has to make sure that when they go to the house they bring no drugs or unsafe items. Our neighborhood is not even safe to walk the streets and hang out. A lot of young people do not have anywhere to go when they turn 18 due to unstable homes and parents.
Eric Hawkins and Patrick Allen both came to King/Drew to share their stories and let young students know that the decisions you make now will affect your future. Eric Hawkins went to Centennial High School in Compton. He was a football star his senior year and had scholarships waiting for him. Hawkins chose to hang with a negative group of people and did something very bad to one person and that one thing sent him to jail for 27 years. Hawkins had never been to juvenile hall but, he was in camp. He ruined his scholarships and other opportunities over one selfish decision. “The choices you make are very important. You’d never want to ruin any opportunities because in prison, the opportunities are very limited,” says Hawkins. While in prison, he started a program that allowed young people to come to prison to see what life would be like if they continued on a bad road.
“Growing up and hanging out with the wrong crowd; you had a choice, why didn’t you pick the better choice if you knew the consequence?” asked a King/Drew student. “Most of the time I was rolling with my buddies. I was a young man with a lot of stuff going on. The negative crowd, the things holding me back, my ego, all placed me in the situation I was in,” answered Patrick Allen. Patrick Allen was one of the “cool kids” in high school. He had so much potential, but made the wrong decision. “The significance and importance of a man is major,” said Allen.
A lot of young people don’t understand that even though they are young, their actions still matter. It is very important to make the right decisions because your future depends on it!