Young Indy Hoosiers plead for adults to help them curb violence by getting involved before crime hits neighborhood

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INDIANAPOLIS — At least 191 people have been killed in Indianapolis so far this year. This enormous violence issue weighs heavily on the city’s young people – just ask them.

“It’s hard to stay focused on what’s going on around you when everyone’s dying or being killed,” Madison Guyse, Vice Chair of the Indianapolis Youth Commission, said. “Honestly, it plays a role in your emotional stability, how well you can manage your emotions and how much tolerance and pain tolerance you have.”

The Indianapolis Youth Commission is a diverse group of 8 young people from 6 different zip codes. After at least 73 people age 25 and under have been killed so far this year, the commission is putting out a call to action for the whole community to get involved.

“We need people to stop acting like they don’t know, we need people to start forcing themselves to help us,” Shaneice Brown, Chair of the Indianapolis Youth Commission, said.

They said helping youth can look like volunteering your time, even if it’s just for a few hours.

“Help kids get involved with more afterschool programs,” Ronnelle Collins, Treasurer of Indianapolis Youth Commission, said. “Help kids get jobs, try to be productive after school.”

Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, roughly $133.5 million is proposed for attacking root causes of crime in Indy, like mental illnesses, lack of re-entry services, hunger. The young leaders say communication among all community members, regardless of age and race, is priceless and must be a priority.

“We need to sit down, we need to talk to each other, we need to communicate,” Guyse said. “If you don’t communicate how are you going to expect something to change?”

If you are a parent or guardian who would like to get your child connected to a supportive program, the youth commission hopes you will reach out to their supervisors for guidance:

Brandon Randall: brandall@voicescorp.org

Bernard Mickle: bernard.mickle@mccoyouth.org

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