WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Safety, wellness and education are three areas the Blue Ribbon Commission are now directing its attention towards to prevent violence among area youth.
Back when the group started in 2008, leaders focused on reducing out-of-school suspensions, the high school dropout rate, and engaging an army of volunteers to come into the youth enrichment zone and help serve the community.
Six years later, leaders say they are narrowing down those goals to make them more specific and action oriented. To do this they say they looked at important factors that led kids to violence.
The BRC serves parts of the north side of downtown Wilmington. New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David says crime in that area is down 28%, but commission leaders acknowledge there is still plenty of work to be done.
“The issue of youth violence is so complicated and interwoven, with so many issues. If we can slowly attack one at a time and see success within that, we know that we are doing our job,” said Executive Director Jana Jones Hall.
The BRC provides about 400 families its services and says it plans to expand within the next several years.