Despite many challenges that youth face, youth can thrive in the midst
of violence. By taking action to make a positive impact in their communities, these
youth inspire us to build a better world,
"When I met my mentor I was trying to regain my soul, body and mind that I had given to my gang since I was 15 years of age. After meeting my mentor he encouraged me to leave the gang and [taught me] how to show love and respect to other human beings. Now, I’m doing much better with my life and I am following in my mentors teaching to help other youth comprehend that their lives are valuable and that anyone can change from being a gang member to to help heal and turn others lives around for the better of our communities, cities, and even the WORLD."
"Project FIRE helped me because it slowed me down from being reckless all the time after I got shot. It helped me learn that there's more things than just being out in the streets. You can do something that you're good at and have a future. Wanting to get better so I can be successful as an artist in the future helps me stay out of the streets."
"People saw some talent in me from my drawing and got me to try other kinds of art. Doing something different from what I had always done showed me there was other possibilities and saved me from the streets. Now I work as a teacher and mentor trying to give younger people the same experience that I had."