Save Our Streets: Mentorship program in Hartford works with young adults to guide them to better futures

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Twelve-year-old Zion Barron worried about the violence around him in Hartford, but now he is getting help thanks to a mentorship program.

For a couple of hours of the week, Barron and other kids spend time with PAL Officers from the Hartford Police Department and take part in the Goal Mentorship Program.

They engage with volunteers from different community groups. When News 8 was visiting, they were with a non-profit called Men Standing Up Against Violence.

“God and education equal success. I want you to keep that because that’s a learning tool that’s going to take you the rest of your life and it starts right now,” said Bishop Donald Johnson, Men Standing Up Against Violence.

The Goal Mentorship Program was developed by the University of Hartford.

“It is so core to the mission of what we’re about, which is educating youth and helping to improve lives,” said Mark Boxer, University of Hartford.

“What we’re trying to do is trying to uplift them and encourage them to do good in school, to be productive citizens, to do well and love their community,” said Fred Phillips, Men Standing Up Against Violence.

They try to build bonds with the young adults, hoping that can save our streets.

“Everybody out here is out here for one reason and that’s to help you become better and protect you so you can become better,” Johnson said.

“They show you inspiration. They show you how to be the man that you could be,” Barron said.

If you know any positive people or programs trying to keep kids away from youth violence and crime where you live, send News 8 an email to reportit@wtnh.com.

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