U.S. Rep. Kelly: Jobs can lead to less violence - FOX 32 News Chicago

U.S. Rep. Kelly: Jobs can lead to less violence

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Hundreds of teens came out to Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep for a youth job expo Saturday afternoon.

Organizers including U.S. Representative Robin Kelly hope opportunities like this will lead to less violence in the community.

"We feel that there would be less gun violence if the youth have more options, more positive options," Kelly said.

Over 500 teens and young adults registered for the Youth Summit and Job Expo, but organizers said nearly a thousand people attended.

“We know not every young person here is going to get a job, but we hope that a lot of them do,” said the congresswoman. “At least get internships and then they'll have mentors and professional role models and people they can contact."

More than 100 companies attended the event. For students like Morgan Park senior Leo Wilson, this was a unique opportunity.

"I think it's a very, very helpful experience to see this. You don't see very many job expos in the community, especially for youth, with all the violence now. This gives kids something to do over the summer," said Wilson.

Young people who are already out working were recruiting others to join. Jerquisha Migures, a student at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep, already has a job at a store called Villa.

"I really think it's a great opportunity because a lot of students, especially at Brooks, are looking for a job. By them coming here and everybody getting involved and the community coming out, that's what we're looking for," said Migures.

Kelly noted that gun violence took the life of a Gwendolyn Brooks special education teacher Thursday night. Kelly said kids need jobs to stay out of trouble.

“Losing a generation of young people and obviously by the death of Dr. Betty Howard, we're losing older people, it's senseless what is going on,” Kelly said. “We have to start giving young people options and we all have to pull together. It's all about responsibility."

Police told FOX 32 News Saturday night they were still looking for suspects in the murder of Betty Howard.

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