ABC7 Spotlights Y’s Youth Safety and Violence Prevention Program

January 30, 2017


Eddie Bocanegra and Grant Buhr speak with Judy Hsu on Newsviews about the Y's evidence-based violence prevention programs (ABC7)"

ABC 7’s Judy Hsu spoke with Eddie Bocanegra and Grant Buhr of the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s Youth Safety and Violence Program initiative on Sunday about two evidence-based intervention programs, Urban Warriors and Story Squad.

Urban Warriors was founded by YSVP executive director Eddie Bocanegra. The program trains post-9/11 U.S. military vets to mentor Chicago youth living in underserved neighborhoods with gang violence. Veteran and youth participants connect through their similar traumatic experiences and develop new coping tools throughout the course of the 16-week program. Since its inception three years ago, 150 youth and 50 vets have completed the program. Learn more about Urban Warriors.

Grant Buhr, YSVP’s operations coordinator, pioneered Story Squad in 2014. Story Squad is a digital storytelling program where young people are taught to use multimedia production tools to share their personal stories about navigating through life amidst violence. Story Squad provides a safe and supportive environment where youth can intentionally reflect on difficult experiences and reframe them as tools for healing. Learn more about Story Squad and hear stories authored and produced by young people.

Watch the interview with Judy Hsu on ABC7.