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To stop Kansas City gun violence, these teens say 'kids just need something to lose'

 Three young people inside a radio studio sit at microphones. The one on the right is gesturing with both hands and talking.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Madison Peppers, Bryan Mayer and Mia Myers-Ray all worked on projects related to gun violence solutions during their internships for ProX internships, an organization that gives high school students paid professional experiences during the summer.

Kansas City is poised to have its deadliest year since 2020. Three area high schoolers — Madison Peppers, Bryan Mayer and Mia Myers-Ray — think that education and opportunity are an important part of the solution to gun violence in our region.

Kansas City is on track to have its deadliest year since 2020. And while homicides often include youth and young adults, they're not often at the forefront of solutions to the problem.

As a part of their summer internships through ProX, an organization that pairs high school students with paid professional experience, Madison Peppers, Bryan Mayer and Mia Myers-Ray participated in projects that worked towards solutions to gun violence in youth.

Peppers worked with Second Chance KC, Mayer interned with the Kansas City Health Department and Myers-Ray for KC Common Good.

The students said that education and job opportunities are key to ending the cycle of violence for young people in the region.

"Kids just need something to lose. They need something that's so important to them that they will not risk getting themselves involved in anything that will mess that up," Myers-Ray told KCUR's Up To Date. "Whether it's for their future, whether it's for like their family, anything. So I think that that's such a big thing."

  • Madison Peppers, ProX intern with Second Chance KC
  • Bryan Mayer, ProX intern with the Kansas City Health Department
  • Mia Myers-Ray, ProX intern with KC Common Good
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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
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