NASHVILLE — One fraternity is trying to put an end to gun violence by holding a survival summit which encourages students to stay out of trouble in the summer months when there is no school.
This is the second year for this summit; kids and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity members were out at McGavock High School trying to bring in as many people as they could to talk about these issues.
Talking about major issues doesn’t have to be boring, and the Summer Survival Summit focuses on just that, letting kids know that there are other ways to have fun without getting in trouble.
Dewayne Collier is the president-elect of Kappa Alpha Psi and a victim of gun violence himself.
He was shot at the convenience store he used to own.
“Two guys came in to rob the store and, luckily, I fell to the right. Because, if I fell to the left, I would have been shot in the heart,” he remembers.
He says we need to keep these issues at the forefront of our communities.
“Issues like violence, black-on-black crime, crime in general, and put the guns down.”
The fraternity mentors kids at McGavock High School and Two Rivers Middle School with its Kappa League program, and the Kappa Leaguers are standing up for the cause as well.
“Gun violence is crazy big. Every time you turn on the news, you see another kid dead, another person shot,” said McGavock graduate and Kappa Leaguer Gabriel Stamps.
Last year, fellow Kappa Leaguer Dontae Drew was killed in a drive-by shooting on Dickerson Pike.
“Not just Dontae Drew, Brandon Adams was another friend of our fellow Kappa Leaguers and also family member. He actually passed away in the McGavock parking lot earlier this year around the same time as Dontae Drew due to gun violence,” said McGavock senior and Kappa Leaguer Shelton Hawkins.
“This is one of the ways we want to give back to the community so we don’t lose another Dontae Drew. Because in every house there is a Dontae Drew,” said Kappa League Assistant Director Billy D. Walker.
Walker says events like these help kids understand that there are people who do care about them, their goals, and their aspirations.
The Kappa Leaguers say Metro Nashville has been rocked by youth violence in the recent years, and now they want to change the negative perception of youth.
The fraternity members hold weekly meetings with the Kappa League students.
Their goal is to follow students from freshman to senior year, and, so far, they’ve given out close to $50,000 in scholarship money.