TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Recent violence in Tallahassee has sparked outcry in the community, with leaders calling for action and change. But one local group looking to enact that change are having trouble finding people to help them.
That plea is from the Council on the Status of Men and Boys who is trying to fill 3 critical positions in their mission to save youth at risk of committing a crime.
"Tons of criticism about there isn't enough being done for violence and we know it is a comprehensive approach it is so much that needs to be done in order to reduce violence, but we have to start somewhere," said Talethia Edwards, a community advocate in the Greater Bond Community.
She's seen firsthand how people say more needs to be done to address violence in Leon County. Edward says now's the time to put up or shut up.
"Get involved figure out what the plan is what are they thinking over there and how can you lend your support," said Edwards.
Talethia is talking about the 3 key positions that will facilitate the mission of the Council on the Status of Men and Boys, helping to address the problems at-risk youth are facing so they can leave a life of crime behind.
The 3 positions will be funded by the $1.5 million federal grant the Council received back in October of 22'.
"We break that cycle of if a kid gets suspended or expelled he is abandoned in a lot of ways there's not services always aggressively going after him well now there are," said Royle King, executive director of the Council.
King said they're first targeting students from alternative schools who have been suspended and expelled from school since the majority of homicide offenders fall into that category.
"It's a lot of work and it's hard work but we're creating something that is going to be the foundation for our community," said King. "We need people who care and who understand we're already behind because the violence is continuing to happen so we need people who are going to be out the gate to be ready to hit the ground running so we can save our community and save some lives."
That's where the School-Based Navigator position will come in, which will track of performance in school and connect youth with the right services on and off campus.
The other two positions are Life Coach Navigators who will work one on one with at-risk youth to develop individual plans based on their experiences or trauma they may have seen, all so these kids can live better lives.
King said they need the community's help to make a real impact in reducing violence going forward.
"This is your opportunity I'm calling on all community members we all have a stake in this if we want to see something change," said King.
The deadline to apply for the positions is November 29th, 2022.
The full-time, paid positions will start in January 2023 with the alternative schools and the Council plans to work with all Leon County middle and high schools by next school year. They hope to include elementary schools within the next 3 years.
Click here to apply for the School-Based Navigator position (1).
Click here to apply for the Life Coach Navigator positions (2).
Leon County is also looking for volunteers for the Governing Body for the Council on the Status of Men and Boys.
Members will focus on developing policy and providing direction to meet the Council's mission and purpose.
If you're interested, you must have lived or worked in Leon County for at least two years.
You also have to be willing to:
- serve at least one two-year term
- attend monthly meetings for the first year
- serve on at least one of the sub-committees
You can apply on Leon County's website here.