Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon aims to tackle city's gun, gang violence problems

The Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon is on the south side of the city, blocks from where a shooting took the life of a 14-year-old Mount Vernon boy.

Nadia Galindo

Mar 10, 2023, 11:04 PM

Updated 444 days ago

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Mount Vernon residents and organizations are calling for an end to gun violence in the wake of a shooting that left a Mount Vernon teen dead on Thursday morning.

The Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon is on the south side of the city, blocks from where a shooting took the life of a 14-year-old Mount Vernon boy.
"We like to think of ourselves as a safe haven for young people," says Mel Campos, of the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon.
Campos, the club's CEO, says preventing kids and teens from getting involved with gun and gang violence is at the core of their mission.
"Here at the club, we try to provide a welcoming environment, a loving environment but an environment where there are certain things you can't do," he says. 
The club offers after-school and teen programs, thanks to funding. 
In 2021, Gov. Kathy Hochul visited the club to announce new funding to address gun violence.  Last year, additional money was allocated to prevent gun violence in Mount Vernon through Project RISE.

Part of that funding was used to sponsor a basketball tournament for teens last year. It was so successful that the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon is already planning another one for this spring.
Campos says programs like this help teens make healthy relationships and learn how to use conflict resolution instead of picking up a gun.   


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