Gangs who recruit young people to perpetuate an agenda of drugs, crime and violence are holding communities like Pilsen, Little Village and Cicero captive. This edition of THE Ñ BEAT takes a close-up look at the people and organizations who are saying no to gangs, determined to take back the streets one child at a time.
Miguel Perez shares his life as a former gang member with viewers. Today he works as a youth, family and community liaison for SER Central States, a job he attributes to the help he received from Roberto Montejano Sr., who directs the Youth Offender Expansion Program for SER Central States. Together they intervene and counsel Latino youth, to help them understand that there are alternatives to gang life.
ENLACE Chicago, a community organization in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood, will also be featured. Recognizing the challenge to keep kids out of gangs, Mike D. Rodriguez, the executive director of ENLACE, works tirelessly to secure jobs and activities in the community to deter gang membership. Through a variety of programs, he and his organization offer neighborhood youth opportunities for employment and recreation during summer vacation.
In addition, Adam Alonso, executive director of Corazon Community Services and Ismail Vargas, director of Youth Intervention Services for Corazon Community Services in Cicero will shows us their efforts to keep the peace in the streets.
"Ñ Beat" is available on-demand at abc7chicago.com.
"Ñ Beat" is produced by Edgar Vargas.