MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two non-profit organizations came before Memphis city council members Tuesday to talk about what their groups are doing to help young people involved in crime.
Time and time again, we tell you about teenagers who get caught up in crime, whether it’s being an offender or a victim. Tuesday morning, another juvenile became a victim of gun violence in Frayser.
Many city leaders and those in the community ask what can be done to make a difference in the lives of young people.
One non-profit organization, Ettaro Fine Arts Foundation, talked to city council members about community outreach through the arts. They are working to put a curriculum in youth leaders hands to talk about the dangers of getting involved in a life of crime with a new production called “Mama’s Ti’ed.”
“I’m a retired school teacher, and I had two African-American students die from gun violence in the same week, and it shook me to my core,” said Flo Roach with Ettaro Fine Arts Foundation.
The other non-profit was the Juvenile Intervention and Faith-Based Follow Up, also known as JIFF, which has been around for over 50 years.
“We intervene in the lives of young people at a very critical point in time and we do that through internships. We do that through educational support. We also offer them personal and professional development,” said Megan Gwaltney, the executive director of JIFF.
JIFF, which worked with more than 330 young people last year, works through Christ centered intervention.
Referrals for JIFF come from juvenile court, the public defender’s office, Youth Services Bureau and others. But the organization is now taking community referrals as well to intervene in children’s lives before they get caught up in the court system.
With JIFF, there are programming tactics like gang intervention, character development, community service projects and attending other events in the community like Grizzlies games and museum visits.