GROW NEA mentors youth in Jonesboro

Published: Feb. 12, 2022 at 10:48 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - According to Jonesboro police, youth between the ages of 13 and 20 have been involved in much of the gun violence in Jonesboro.

Community members are working to show youth the streets are not the only option.

“Reach out to the young people and actually try to help them know that they can do things that they don’t actually have to go out to the streets,” said Shaunta Johnson, founder of God Reward Our Works Northeast Arkansas.

Johnson founded GROW NEA IN 2017.

Since then, the organization has had basketball tournaments, back-to-school drives, and now mentorship programs.

“For one because we don’t have many outlets like this for brown girls in our community,” said Ebony Currie.

Currie’s daughter was a part of the Woman Can seminar Saturday.

“Some kids don’t feel like they can talk to their mom and dad in some situations,” she said. “So, to be able to have those mentors that they can look up to is awesome.”

Johnson said seeing how many children have been involved with crime lately just pushes him to keep going.

“It really motivates me to get out there and reach out to them and let them know that you don’t have to be a victim to the streets,” said Johnson.

He said youth have come to him saying there is nothing to do in their spare time, which causes them to get into wrong activities.

So, the organization is giving them something to do.

The leaders with GROW NEA are planning a trip to the National Civil Rights Museum to show youth a piece of their history.

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