DANVILLE (WSLS 10) - "It stings, it really does, because this is what we're doing. We're fighting this fight every day, day in and day out," said Life Push, LLC President Nick Sturdifen, reacting to Danville's latest homicides.
As president of Life Push, Sturdifen is doing everything he can to try to reach out to the youth in the city so that they don't end up like 15-year-old Sean Clayborne, who was shot and killed on Thursday night, or like 21-year-old Jaquon Stamps, who was shot and killed on Friday night.
"It definitely starts with the parents. That's not something that's unknown or uncommon. People know this now, but at what point do we actually put more programs out into the community for the parents?" Sturdifen asked rhetorically.
He believes more programs would be very successful because he's seen that success first hand.
"We've put out several programs at some of the different localities here in Danville that have had your higher crime rates traditionally. We've had low turnout, but we've had people come out and we've seen that there's some enlightenment taking place there," Sturdifen pointed out.
Constance Covington runs a youth center at the Cardinal Village housing community just down the street from Friday night's shooting.
She knew both Stamps and Clayborne and said she talks to her kids about incidents like this when they occur and she tries to use them as a learning experience.
"I thank God for the opportunity to work with the young people in my community so I can just try to lead them in the right direction and help them make good, positive choices," Covington emphasized. "Choices is what's getting these kids in all the trouble they're in. They're not thinking it through."
She said the whole community needs to pay more attention to the youth, recognize when they may need to talk to someone, and then talk to them or find someone who can.