PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Real talk from the mouth of a 12-year-old about his fear of violence in the area of Kensington where he lives.
"At curfew my mom will say don't stay out too late because I could get shot. Sometimes I'm like oh was that a firecracker or a gun shot because I'm really worried," said 12-year- old Christian Camiolo. He attended a Philly Youth talks forum tonight at Kensington CAPA High School on violence in the city. It was put on by the Philadelphia Youth Commission and other city groups.
13-year-old Atiya Keo was also there.
"They're trying to change young people's mindset and get into their heads young so like when they're adults it's harder for them to change their mindset," she said. Kids and leaders of various youth organizations rotated to different classrooms for panel discussions on the trauma left behind by violence, prevention and intervention and the city's plan on reducing violence.
"Through this plan and this discussion how we best spend the money available to us on the ground as close to where people are so we get between these kids," said Mayor Jim Kenney.
16-year-old Noah Artis is a Philadelphia Youth Commissioner.
"We want them to be aware, be focused and be careful about what's going on," he said.
Christian came as a member of the Donte Wiley Foundation named after a man who lost his life to gun violence in 2008.
"If I wasn't a part of this program what would I be doing right now? Could I be doing something productive, something bad or something good? I don't know because like in this environment where I live you don't know. I could walk to the corner store and somebody starts shooting and I could be involved in a crossfire," he said.
Mayor Kenney also spoke about getting the police department up to 6500 per Commissioner Ross and adding more people to work homicide.