KILLEEN - A Killeen man is demanding city support for an at risk youth mentorship program after he says city leaders have ignored his requests for over a year. Killeen resident Omari Wright says since talking to city council about his program he hasn't received any help, so he met with other leaders in Killeen Wednesday to see how they can gain the city's support. Omari says he's tired of waiting for city leaders to back him up.
"I've been politically polite for so long but everyday that we don't force the issue we lose another youth in one way or another and that's something I don't want on me" says At Risk Youth Program Coordinator Omari Wright.
Omari says he's requesting time and space for events like teen job fairs and talent shows. Some city leaders say Omari has talked to them about his mentorship program in the past and they like his idea, but they say he has to do more planning before they get on board.
"We need to see how this is going to be implemented. Giving a presentation is not the same as really seeing what you have to do in order to get it accomplished" says Killeen City Council Member Juan Rivera.
Despite what city leaders say one Killeen resident says he knows how bad the streets of Killeen can get because he's lived it and now wants everyone in the area to have a hand in building up a better option.
"Once you open the door it's just downhill from there so you find yourself 22 in prison and it dawns on you. I learned my lesson one time and I don't want other brothers to have to learn that lesson at all" says Killeen resident Shabazz GQ.
Shabazz now uses games like chess to try and help at risk youth in Killeen.
"I want to get the youth to learn chess because I feel like chess teaches you that life is not fair. Chess teaches you discipline, patience and that no day is the same and that's my goal" says GQ.
He went on to say that a game of chess may seem small but it's a big step in the right direction towards curbing youth violence in Killeen, and he says he hopes the city will eventually see it that way too.
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