By Paul Burton


BOSTON (CBS) – With one loud voice, dozens of Boston teens came together to help raise awareness to end gun violence in the city.

“We make bad decisions but we are not bad kids,” said Catanzia Casea-Cooper of Dorchester.

On Saturday teens from surrounding Boston communities held a Youth R.I.S.E rally which stands for Realize, Interpret, Stop and Empower. Seven different youth organizations also took part to offer important resources.

“As a youth I feel like we need more awareness around gun violence,” said 16-year-old Niassia Hughes-Polk, who helped organize the event. “And because we are now starting to be affected by the gun violence that happens all over the country, I feel like it’s important that we are able to address it ourselves.”

Youth RISE rally in Roxbury (WBZ-TV)

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh came by to support the teens’ mission. “It’s time to break the cycle of gun violence,” Walsh said.

A lot of the youth in attendance say they’ve lost loved ones and friends to violence. They’ve been planning this rally since January. Not only is it educational but it’s also about taking the right action steps.

“I hope they walk away with awareness about what is happening in Boston and I hope they are able to gather some resources that can help them with their own situation,” Niassia said.

The teens say unity, support and opportunity are very important them.

“With the right resources they can find out other options of things to do in life other than just hanging out with friends and making dumb decisions,” said organizer Neal Decoteau. “We just need some guidance so we can figure out our way and our path for the future.

Paul Burton

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