"We All Want To Make Sure We Feel Safe."
Recently, two CHOOSE 180 Youth Workshop graduates had a chance to share how gun violence has impacted their lives at the KIRO 7 Town Hall. In the company of Washington State’s governor, subject matter experts, other students, and a live television audience, the two shared their honest truth from a place of beautiful vulnerability.
Miguel shared how his father, while battling depression, purchased a gun. His father would later use this gun to not only shoot his step-father three times but would also turn the gun on himself and commit suicide. After his father’s death, Miguel often considered using a gun to take his own life as well.
Rico told the audience that it wasn’t the guns in school that worried him but the people he knew were carrying guns before and after the bell rang. As a gunshot victim himself, Rico spoke with a quiet conviction that helped those who listened understand that there are real people on the other side of these bullets.
Experiencing this type of trauma at such a young age was a contributing factor to why they committed the offenses that led them to participate in our CHOOSE 180 Youth Workshop. They, like many of our participants, come from fractured environments that are absent of the necessary support to help young people transition out of a place of brokenness in to a place of hope.
CHOOSE 180 is incredibly proud of both of these young men for their willingness to be so transparent and the strength that they have demonstrated in honoring their commitment to change.