NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – All week, News 8 is highlighting some of the people and programs around the state doing work behind the scenes trying to Save Our Streets and keep kids away from crime and violence in their communities.
There is a program in New Haven using some movie magic to protect kids. It’s no big Hollywood production, but some of the young cast members have been involved in real-life drama on the streets of Connecticut.
Anthony Perry was shot in Waterbury when he was 17. He’s now 19.
“I still have thoughts and just certain things that I’m not supposed to have, you know? I should have been 17 years old with PTSD. Every day you go outside, first thing on your mind is, ‘am I going to be ok going here? Would I be able to make it back home going there?’” Perry explained.
Making this movie is keeping Perry and all the other young people physically and mentally away from the streets and into a positive collaboration.
“It changed my life getting me out of the streets,” Perry said.
The movie is being made by Ice the Beef, a non-profit founded by Chaz Carmon in New Haven.
“There’s so much trauma out there, so when they come in to make a movie, now they’re learning social-emotional learning and now they get a positive mentor. We’re instilling the education and the positivity inside that thing they want to do,” Carmon said.
Ice the Beef is known for marches and rallies against youth violence. Perry now spends a lot of his time with Ice the Beef, tapping into his creativity to improve himself and others.
They get little fanfare for what they do. The reward for Carmon is seeing someone like Perry, now shine.
“I won’t be on the news or dead or in jail, you know? It keeps me going every day,” Perry said.