MECKLENBURG COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - There has been an increase in the number of violent crimes involving young people in Mecklenburg County in the last couple of years, according to the Council for Children’s Rights, the public defenders who represent juveniles in court.
That news is upsetting news for a man who has dedicated his free time to working with young people.
“You throw your life away at the age of 15. Now you’re going to jail for life,” said Will Adams with Team Trublue.
There’s a reason the age of 15 is significant for Adams.
“15-years-old, my son was murdered at the age of 15.”
Adams turned his heartbreak and pain of losing a child into outreach. He started team Trublue, a Charlotte-based stop the violence group. They do Lunch Buddies and mentoring programs with at-risk youth as young as six years old.
“You look at those who have success stories because somebody took time to talk to your child. When you couldn’t reach them, somebody else could reach them.”
Adams is disheartened to hear about two violent crimes over the weekend where four 15-year-olds were arrested.
Two boys were charged with the armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver on Millennium Avenue Sunday.
And two 15-year-olds are charged in a murder Friday on Wembley Drive. One of them is also accused of bringing a gun to Garinger High School Monday and having a stolen vehicle.
FOX 46 Charlotte learned on Monday that another youth outreach group, GAP (Gang Alternative Principles) that we’ve featured before, is having to shut down because they don’t have enough money to keep the program going.
“When a child doesn’t have hope, they’re going to fail.”
Adams says Team Trublue needs more volunteer mentors. Without them, some teens struggle with acceptance, which can lead them to commit crimes.
“It will make them stop and think and say, Hey, i don’t want to disappoint this person (their mentor) because they care about me.”
Click here for more information about how to contact Team Trublue.