Group helps Springfield youth stand up to violence - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Group helps Springfield youth stand up to violence

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The city has had nine murders this year and one in particular hit home to a resident who decided to do something about the violence.

"A murder on Union Street, an 18-year-old girl," said Armando Olivares. "After that murder, I told my team 'this is enough.'"

Shortly after that, Olivares started the group One Springf1eld, with the idea to provide young people with a chance to be heard and give them the idea that violence is not the only path.

"What I like about this is we connect young people with young people," said Olivares. "If we have young people that are lost, we connect them with young people that were once lost and now have their lives together."

"That's good that people like that are still around, that people actually want to see people succeed and proceed in their life," said Jared Salinas, who is entering his freshman year of high school.

He and his family were on hand for Wednesday evening's event, which gave away 100 book bags to students and showcased young talent from across the area.

Salinas said people his age can go down the wrong path.

"Now-a-days, 14-year-olds sometimes wind up in [juvenile detention], later wind up in jail," said Salinas. "Having this is actually helpful."

For other families in the audience at Chestnut Accelerated Middle School, they wanted to see what One Springf1eld is all about.

Miriam Sanabria's daughter is not close to school-age yet, but mom wants to know what's going on in the community.

"With all of the bullying that's going on now-a-days, I think it's awesome to have somebody talk to us and say, lets stop all of this violence," said Sanabria. "This is crazy, it's getting out of hand."

Olivares said it will take a wide-range of support to make a change.

"It's very important that we work as one, as a community," said Olivares. "It's one city, so we're all on one mission, so young people need to stand up and do the right thing. It's about that time."

Along with One Springf1eld, Olivares is a member of several groups including the mayor's violence prevention task force, which encourages families to get more involved in their children's schools.

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