NW teens advocate in D.C. for end to youth violence

Jul 15, 2011

Teens from Seattle and Tacoma are meeting with lawmakers in Washington D.C. to advocate for an end to youth violence.

They are pushing for the passage of the Youth Promise Act, now stalled in congress. The act would provide communities with federal funding to develop local programs to keep kids off the street and busy, especially after school between the hours of three and six.

The students represent World Vision’s Youth Empowerment Program. One of the students in D.C., Chino Celedon-Perez, is a senior at Woodrow Wilson High School in Tacoma.

“I’m saying, like, I’m talking as a youth, to you. If I were to see some of these changes I’m pretty sure my fellow peers would be more excited about school, they would be less tempted to skip, less tempted to do negative things in their life,” he said. “It would be dramatic change for everyone.”

On Thursday, he met with Senator Patty Murray and Representative Norm Dicks.

World Vision hopes the Promise Act will be introduced in the House of Representatives before the August recess. According to a new study conducted by World Vision, adults blame lack of supervision, and violent movies and video games as causes of gang violence, while fewer blame poverty.