Youth Safety & Violence Prevention: YSVP in the News

November 15, 2017

Program Matches Vets And Youth For Support After Violence-Related Trauma
Morning Shift sits down with Chico Tillmon, executive director of Youth Safety and Violence Prevention at the YMCA, veteran mentor Karen Hernandez, and Taina Ocasio, a teen participant in the program.


August 08, 2017

Urban Warriors Veteran and Youth Featured in Viral Facebook Video
These veterans are mentoring young people in Chicago to help them cope with neighborhood violence. (NowThis)


March 22, 2017

Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis Introduce New Legislation to Address Childhood Trauma
New Legislation, introduced Monday, March 19, 2017 by Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Representative Danny Davis, could provide training for people who work closely with children to identify and address trauma. (Chicago Sun-Times)


March 20, 2017

Healing is Prevention: New Bill to Address Child Trauma, Reduce Violence and Poverty
Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis unveiled the Trauma Informed Care for Children and Families Act on Monday, March 19, 2017. (Chicago Defender)


January 30, 2017

ABC7 Spotlights Y’s Youth Safety and Violence Prevention Program
Eddie Bocanegra and Grant Buhr speak with Judy Hsu on Newsviews about the Y's evidence-based violence prevention programs (ABC7)


December 20, 2016

Youth Safety & Violence Prevention Receives $500,000 MacArthur Grant
MacArthur Foundation invests $11 Million in Chicago youth, social progress and economic development groups, including the YMCA of Metro Chicago. (DNAInfo Chicago)


December 13, 2016

Largest Urban Warriors Cohort to Date Recognized with Graduation Ceremony
Saturday's ceremony celebrated the completion of the 16-week Urban Warriors mentorship program, where post 9/11 military vets are paired with gang-exposed youth. (WGN-TV)


November 14, 2016

YSVP Vet Volunteers for Others Who Served
YSVP outreach coordinator and U.S. Navy veteran William Schranz spent his Veteran's Day sprucing up a VFW Hall.


October 12, 2016

Chicago’s Former Gang Members Look to Leave Their Tattoos Behind
YSVP executive director Eddie Bocanegra weighed in on a Sept. 20 WBEZ story about Adrian Torres, a tattoo artist who performs a life-saving service in his free time — gang tattoo removal.


October 10, 2016

The Y’s Youth Safety and Violence Prevention executive director quoted in online magazine Slate
YSVP's Eddie Bocanegra helps Slate magazine get to the bottom of Chicago's gang violence


October 06, 2016

Eddie Bocanegra on Law Enforcement and the Community on “In The Loop”
Eddie Bocanegra, the executive director of the Youth Safety and Violence Prevention initiative, discussed recent police shootings in Chicago and elsewhere with three other community activists.


October 05, 2016

“Chicago Tonight” Looks at Violence in Chicago
Eddie Bocanegra, executive director of the Y's Youth Safety and Violence Prevention initiative, took part in a solution-oriented panel discussion on violence in Chicago.


October 03, 2016

Urban Warriors Program on “American Graduate” Live National Broadcast
The YMCA of Metro Chicago's innovative violence cessation program Urban Warriors, which pairs veterans with youth, was featured on the American Graduate Day live broadcast on Saturday, Sept. 17.


September 19, 2016

Eddie Bocanegra a 4-Star Chicagoan
ABC7's Windy City Live spoke with YSVP Director Eddie Bocanegra about PTSD among inner-city youth for its new "4 Star Chicagoan" series.


August 29, 2016

South Side YMCA teams up with The Undefeated for a discussion on violence
Sports journalist Jemele Hall spoke with Jabari Parker, Cappie Pondexter and other at the South Side Y.


August 24, 2016

Peace march held in memory of Urban Warrior Abner Garcia
ABC7's Windy City Live spoke with YSVP Director Eddie Bocanegra about PTSD among inner-city youth for its new "4 Star Chicagoan" series.


August 17, 2016

Urban Warrior vet Abner Garcia slain in random act of violence
Urban Warriors mentor Abner Garcia, dedicated to helping end youth violence, was slain August 15 in a random act of violence.


June 28, 2016

Eddie Bocanegra speaks to WTTW Chicago Tonight about the “code of silence”
WTTW Chicago Tonight correspondent Brandis Friedman talked with Eddie Bocanegra, executive director of the Youth Safety & Violence Prevention initiative, about the code of silence that's often pervasive on the streets of Chicago.


May 02, 2016

‘There’s a story behind why we shoot’
Two graduates of the Y's Urban Warriors mentoring program talk about why they picked up a gun and how that decision changed their lives. (WBEZ)


March 13, 2016

Urban Warriors: Stemming the tide of street violence
YSVP Executive Director Eddie Bocanegra, U.S. Navy veteran Jamal McPherson, and YMCA youth Jaime, Miguel and Noah were interviewed by CBS News Correspondent Michelle Miller for CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.


March 4, 2016

"Urban Warriors" saves youth from violence in Chicago
Carmen Vargas from Telemundo interviewed Eddie Bocanegra, Angel Herrera and youth Miguel and Daniel about their experiences with Y’s Urban Warriors program.


March 4, 2016

Chicago's Very Own: YMCA outreach worker Mike Almore (WGN-TV)
Mike Almore, YMCA outreach worker, shares what changed his perception of living the gang lifestyle to mentoring youth and preventing youth violence. WGN TV recognizes Mike as "Chicago's Very Own" in this report.


February 26, 2016

Fred Grimm: Miami-Dade child killed when virtual lives of gangbangers collided with reality
Social media has become integral in youth gang recruiting, drug sales, gun sales and boasts about illegal exploits according to Eddie Bocanegra, executive director of the YMCA’s Youth Safety and Violence Prevention programs.


February 12, 2016

Parents try to figure out the baffling world of emojis
Emojis are everywhere and there is a huge range of pictures and symbols all over texts and social media. Some teenagers even use them as a kind of hidden language. ABC7 News found out why experts say parents need to pay attention.


February 02, 2016

Vocalo’s The Barber Shop Show talks with the Y’s Story Squad about community violence
Story Squad participants Brian, Daniel, Jaime and Kevon joined WBEZ's Richard Steele on The Barber Shop Show to share their personal audio stories and how self-expression helps them to reconnect with their families and strengthen their communities.


January 29, 2016

Chicago Bulls and BMO Harris Bank support YMCA’s Urban Warriors program
The Chicago Bulls and BMO Harris Bank have teamed up to support the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago’s Urban Warriors program. The partnership provides Urban Warriors participants the opportunity to share special experiences together, create memories and strengthen the bond between the youth and veterans.


January 25, 2016

NPR’s All Things Considered draws national attention to Urban Warriors
Audie Cornish, host of All Things Considered, visited the Kelly Hall YMCA to share how military veterans and Y outreach workers are building stable communities for young people in Chicago’s most underserved neighborhoods through Urban Warriors.


July 14, 2015

8 Frantic Hours in Chicago on Fourth of July
A Tribune reporting team fanned out across the city over the July Fourth weekend and then conducted interviews to chronicle violence over the summer holiday in Chicago.



Veterans in ‘Urban Warriors’ seek to help youth
The Chicago Sun-Times spoke with Jorge Maya, a former Army veteran, about the YMCA's Urban Warriors mentoring program.


July 14, 2014

YMCA of Metro Chicago’s Urban Warriors Program featured in Chicago Tribune
YMCA program is aimed at helping at-risk youths deal with trauma from violent neighborhoods