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Young people, families gather to voice frustrations after shooting deaths of two teenage boys

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — During a Wednesday night event on the east side of Indianapolis, dozens of young people and their families voiced frustrations surrounding the shooting in an east side park that killed two teens on Monday.

A two-hour forum hosted by an Indianapolis mentoring group called New B.O.Y., which stands for ‘New Breed of Youth,’ served as a space where people could vent and share concerns about how crime is impacting the city’s young people.

New B.O.Y. pairs at-risk youth with mentors and gets them involved in activities including literacy programs, sports and boxing programs, community service, life skills classes, and more.

Many of the kids who are part of the program say they thought they didn’t have a chance until New B.O.Y. founder, Kareem Hines, told them they did.

Temario Stokes, 15, was at Wednesday’s event. Before joining New B.O.Y, in the past, Stokes had been arrested for armed robbery and theft.

“I was looking at some real serious charges, some charges that I could sit down for a minute on,” Stokes said. “Right now, I am working with the group, actually Kareem [and] everybody in the program. I’m working on trying to start up a lawncare business and stuff.”

Cameron Washington, 14, was charged with two counts of possessing a firearm without a license. Washington says New B.O.Y. gave him a second chance.

“I got thinking about what I really want to do in life, what’s my purpose? My purpose is not to be in jail or in the ground,” Washington said. “Now, I have a non-profit, it’s called CC Cares. We do a lot of things. We help out the community, we go downtown and give out free pizzas, we bought a whole bunch of gift cards.”

New B.O.Y. founder Kareem Hines says there are some success stories, like Stokes and Washington, but there are many more tragedies.

“I can’t save everybody, but I can save, or attempt and give my last breath to save, the young men that are in the midst of me,” Hines said.

One recent tragedy that hit close to home for Hines happened on Monday, when 14-year-old Da’Vonta White and 15-year-old Isaiah Jackson were shot to death in Dubarry Park.

White was part of New B.O.Y., according to Hines.

“He was part of our prevention program, which makes this hurt even more because he wasn’t a referral,” Hines said. “He wasn’t on probation. He wasn’t in the Department of Child Services.”

Hines says White’s death is yet another tough reminder of the work that still needs to be done.

“All these kids wanna do is be heard. All they wanna do is be heard. Hurt people hurt people. So, that’s what we’re seeing,” Hines said. “A lot of our young people are hurting, and without the proper guidance, without the proper motivation and hope, they’re gonna continue to hurt each other.”

Police have not shared any suspect information on the Dubarry Park shooting and no arrests have been made.