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Indianapolis group working with youth to prevent violence

Posted at 6:01 PM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 18:01:19-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Discipline, mentorship, life skills and some fun that is what Young Men Inc.'s youth empowerment camp is all about. Leaders said it's one way to help prevent violence and set these young men up for success.

The young men who are showing up are working to create a brighter future for themselves and their community.

"We show them love but teach them a lot of discipline and teach them how to make good choices in life," the Rev. Malachi Walker, of Young Men Inc., said.

Part of that includes tough conversations.

"Each day I come in and kind of give them a report on the violence that is going on in our city," Walker said.

Walker said conversations like today's are especially hard as Indianapolis saw its 100th homicide.

"This is not where we want to be for a city," Walker said. "We have to do better. We have to do better."

James Williams has been coming to the program since he was 8 years old. He now helps lead it, knowing the impact it can have.

"That is why I put so much time, effort and energy into Young Men Inc. because I would really, really hate to wake up in the morning or get a call at night to say one of our young men has been gunned down," Williams said.

The young men in it now are already seeing a change.

"Before I actually came to this camp I was dealing with stuff outside that I knew I couldn't handle," Messiah Belton, a program participant, said. "I had to learn how you can speak to people about your problems and they will listen to you."

At the end of the day, Walker said that's the mindset that will help change and save lives.

"You get a mind change about what is really going on and who they really are to where they believe that there are people out there who love them and care about them and want to see them succeed in life," Walker said.