New summer program designed to curb violence

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Submitted: Wed, 01/22/2014 - 3:01pm
Updated: Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:18am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Chamber of Commerce joined forces with the Wilmington Chamber Foundation to announce a new program designed to keep kids off the streets during summer months. During a breakfast with community leaders and business professionals, they served up the details.

During the summer months, children typically find themselves with too much free time, which research shows can often lead to bad behavior. That’s why the launch of the Youth Enrichment Zone Summer Initiative is a needed program in the community according to Connie Majure-Rhett from the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.

“It literally is designed to give children in the morning of the summer educational enrichment and in the afternoon other activity enrichment,” Majure-Rhett said.

But the program, which is designed to keep kids busy and surrounded by positive role models, will cost money. This morning the Chamber of Commerce and Wilmington Chamber Foundation called on District Attorney Ben David to share what he sees in the courtroom and his ideas for curbing violence. He challenged attendees to pledge time and money to get the program off the ground.


  • Vog46 says:

    A curfew is a great idea – but that is not a function of this particular group. It appears to be an interesting idea on the surface and not costing taxpayers anything. Daytime, summertime activities? I don’t have a problem with that. But if they are living in public housing they should also have a night time curfew as well…….
    BTW the recent Public Housing inspections failed to produce evictions from Houston Moore, and only 3 pre-eviction notices at Creekwood (and those 3 get a re-inspection in the near future).
    Kinda dispels the myth that these residences are not maintained by the residents themselves in a manner acceptable to the Authority.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    adding a mandatory evening curfew? That appears to be when most of the crime occurs.

    That may make more sense than community leaders can handle.

  • boldizar says:

    Lets just keep throwing money at the problems in the black community so it looks like we really care. It will NEVER work until the blacks realize its their own problem and fix it. Stop having babies when you are a teen by loser boys who will never have the child’s welfare at heart.Raise your children properly, MOVE out the ghetto !

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    When the family stays together, the family plays together. Having a mother and father around everyday, to say good morning and goodnight to. Having a father that acts as more than a sperm donor and chooses the well-being of his children over a needle, a pipe or a bottle. These are the things that make a difference. Parents that truly get involved in their childs development, that can recognize their strengths and talents and push them in the right direction. Those parents that can really use the advantages of Americas educational opportunities.

    That’s the very best, most important “youth program” you can possibly get and money can’t buy a withering sliver of it! This is going to take a major culture change not a “program”!

  • ac says:

    Well said. I was also in Summer Youth.

  • Youth Advocate says:

    I remember growing up that during the summer, there was a summer youth job program offered to individuals from 15-17 to work in various companies in Wilmington.It kept kids off the street and taught them fundamentals in earning a paycheck and responsibility. I know in later years it was transferred to the YMCA youth program and from what I understand not enough funding and it eventually went over. You do realize that a lot of the youth who are getting in trouble is because of the fast money they can make on the street. Give them an option besides selling drugs and joining gangs. Sitting around a breakfast table and coming up with a mentor program isn’t going to help. Growing up, we didn’t have violence like we do now where teens are doing drive by shootings and killing one another. Go back to the archives and look to see what was in place at that time and put those programs back in service.

  • Youth Advocate says:

    Let me guess, you some white middle age man sitting in your underwear at your computer all day guessing, assuming and most importantly generalizing an entire youth population. Just so that I don’t do as you do I’m going to include that both white and black youth have the same problems you described but I’m going to let you in on a secret that you may not have known while sitting in your underwear all day that not every youth that is troubled has only one parent. I don’t need to remind you of Columbine or the Boston Bombers. Even though those two events are entirely different of what we are speaking of compared to the crime here in wilmington, it however serves the purpose that both those events involved youth with two parent households. Now to revert back to what I believe you were trying to say that family is essential for a youth to have, I can agree with you there but again, it doesn’t only involve two parent households as a family unit. There are great single parents raising their young men and young women to be productive members of society. So the next time you skim to another comment on here and think to bring up a negativity on someone trying to do something positive for our youth, you might remember this exchange and put on some pants instead and go out and offer your own time to the local middle and high schools.

  • advocateperiod says:

    Well said YouthAdvocate.

    Bashing ideas of others never solves anything – or takes much effort.

    Instead of retroactively trying to fix the problem of “the broken family” of today’s gang members, I feel we should encourage these programs and try and break the cycle of gang recruitment/membership.

    I also feel these children may benefit from counseling to build self-esteem and education on developing positive relationships with others. I don’t just think it’s a fact of putting them to work but fixing why they wanted to go into the gangs in the first place. I know they money is important but I think it’s also loneliness and not fitting in.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    and so true. But in that segment of society; it will not happen.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    Let me give you a glimpse of me so you no longer need to “guess”. I’m an aging white male that has established a solid career in high-tech industries to include science, physics and mathematics. I pay my taxes, pay my bills, rely on zero govenment assistance and happen to enjoy a few luxuries I’ve earned with very hard work. I have actively tutored inner city children at our local public schools for many years. I have personally witnessed pitifully extensive cases of wonderful children that have absolutely no guidance from adults. Children that have heroin addicted fathers, crack addicted moms that prostitute for their habit, not their children. These kids are poorly clothed, poorly fed, have poor personal hygiene and are literally starving for people like me to spend a little personal time with them. They are extremely eager to absorb the things I teach them. Things they were previously confused about. To see these children’s eyes light up after grasping a concept they struggle to understand is a golden award for me, but it’s bitter-sweet as it is so very sad that all of that fresh potential is thrown away because their parent(s) don’t give a flat damn about them! I’ve cried myself to sleep thinking about these little young people that will miss all opportunity, all the while knowing they could be somebody. All because they don’t have a family that cares, is motivated to help them and simply have a desire to witness their next generation break that cycle! I do what I do as an effort to offset those that don’t! Just knowing that I may possibly plant the seed of motivation for just one little kid to excel is what drives me. Hopefully, I’ll get to many more than that!

    Now, to compare the isolated mental cases of Columbine or the Boston bombers to everyday children is a very shallow and uninformed comparison to say the very least. The children I’m referring to are caught in a cultural EPIDEMIC of vast proportions! Cultural changes and positive mindsets that don’t use excuses are required here. This takes WORK and this takes FAMILY, not money!

    I got an education in science and engineering to avoid what you do on a regular basis…”GUESS”. I don’t have to “guess”, I either get facts or I go find them. Go take a few classes, read a few books and listen instead of talking so much. Educational opportunities abound for those that are less fortunate, but you have to be willing to WORK at it and have a desire to move forward!

    And for God’s sake, if you have any children, DO NOT take your own advice here, do the right thing for them without making excuses and blaming others!

  • kzpony says:

    We can’t throw money or anything else at these families. They need to form families that are teaching by example, by mommies and daddies drilling right from wrong, by parents being a united front. But there is none of this in so many families today. The kids seek approval and education from the street, and most of the time, they have had a brother, father, uncle, paving the way and setting the example.

    It starts from within, and if it doesn’t, the justice of law should prevail, not the wrath of the hood. If we are throwing money away at these people, like we do every single day, lets throw it at the police force and let them handle it without ramifications, and arrest (AND TRY THEM FAST!), and put them where they can’t threaten anyone anymore and KEEP THEM THERE! If I am paying for all this froo-froo stuff, I would gladly rather have my money going to keep these thugs off the street ONCE AND FOR ALL!

  • Guest2020 says:

    Do the Boys and Girls Clubs have any programs like the ones described in this report?

  • country gal says:

    Since a large portion of the moms and dads of these kids don’t have a job, why not make one or both of them attend with their children. It might help give them some positive parenting skills and keep THEM (the parents) off the streets at night!

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