Youth leader shares vision of safer Cleveland

Youth leader shares vision of safer Cleveland
Local kids spent their Saturday banding together to combat violence in the city. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Several dozen kids spent Saturday morning beating their drums and marching to a safer tomorrow.

The kids, who range from elementary school age to young teenagers are learning how to stop the bullying, and how to avoid guns and violence. For many it is an eye-opening experience.  
Sears Mitchell, the founder of the Vision of Angels Youth Foundation is sharing his vision of a city that's free of bullying and gun violence.

His organization, which operates out of the Second New Hope Baptist Church on E. 116th Street hosted a youth summit.

Mitchell, who recently heard Cleveland's police chief calling on everyone to "do something" sees his program as a way to help kids, but he has a message for adults too.

"Same as the police chief told them, do something. We're so quick to talk about it but we don't be about it, talk is cheap," says Mitchell.

Many kids admit they wouldn't be doing much on a Saturday. This program gives them something safe to do.
"It means I could have like a second family with me and people I could depend on," said Shawn Wilson.

Mitchell says it takes everyone working together to stop the violence.  To help get his point across he invited a mother who was shot four times.  Sonya Garth says the shot that hurt the most, was the one that took her daughter Davia's life during that same domestic violence situation in which she herself was shot.

"I'm going to keep her memory alive even if it means talking to the whole world, that's what I'm going to do" said Garth.

Garth sees what Mitchell is doing as part of a brighter tomorrow. Mitchell hopes you see it too.

"It's a real good feeling because by me being totally blind,  I don't physically see them but just to heat them laugh and feel the energy is worth it. I tell people all the time, I'm not handicapped, I'm handicapable and I'm going to do what I can in our community to save as many of our young people as I can," said Mitchell.

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