JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – After a weekend of crime, community leaders are speaking on the importance of positive influences in younger kids’ lives.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi (BGC) said their number one priority is keeping kids safe while giving them a creative outlet. Leaders with BGC said it is heartbreaking to see young kids turning to guns.
Penney Ainsworth, the president and CEO of BGC, said kids want to feel a part of something. Either positive or negative, kids will find a way to get that. She said through their mentoring program they work to build lasting relationships and empower kids, showing them they can have a bright future and do not have to resort to negative influences or be defined by their zip codes.
“If we don’t do it, they can go on the corner and make a lot more money in a negative way which causes guns to be in their hands, which causes them to have to defend themselves, which causes them to have young people in their ears to tell them to go and hurt other people,” she explained.
Ainsworth said if you want to attend the BGC or want to get involved, simply walk through the door.