Wednesday, July 11, 2012
With gang violence on the rise in Chattanooga, many are clamoring for the madness to stop. One local group, called Stop the Madness, has been working to end the cycle of gangs and bloodshed in the Scenic City since 2005.
“We exist to provide young people with services to reach their potential,” said Executive Director DeJuan Jordan. “Many of our kids are not able to get into other programs because of their past. We give youth alternatives to negative activities. We teach them life skills, academics, job skills and how to improve their college access.
“We want parents to be more responsible and accountable to their children.”
In an effort to raise funding for Stop the Madness programs for local students and their families, the first-ever Second Time Around Prom will be held July 14 from 7-11 p.m. inside The Colonnade in Ringgold, Ga. Any individual or couple in the Chattanooga area is welcome to purchase tickets to attend.
“We want to get our name out there through the prom and let people know we are here for youth and families,” Jordan said. “Not only is it for a good cause, but it will allow adults a chance to get out and have a good time. Everyone needs that time to get out. We are trying to bring the community together to help further our mission. If someone wants to sponsor the fundraiser, they can be recognized and acknowledged.”
A red carpet will be rolled out for guests as they enter in their formal dresses and suits. Photos will be taken on the spot and door prizes will be awarded. Music representing every generation will be played. Volunteers will crown a Prom King and Queen.
Jordan said the event will be perfect for couples that did not know each other in high school.
Stop the Madness is currently hosting 150 youth at a summer camp. During a Heritage Tour, Stop the Madness takes the youth on field trips to places in Alabama, Florida, Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina to learn about Civil Rights.
“Many youth return appreciating their lives more because of the sacrifices people made for them,” said Jordan.
She said Stop the Madness Men of Vision groups travel to area high schools to give young men direction in life. Stop the Madness has been working with youth at Brainerd High School for years. This year the program expanded to Tyner Middle Academy of Math, Science and Technology, Woodmore Elementary School, Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy, Orchard Knob Elementary School and Bess T. Shepherd Elementary School.
“The Men of Vision interact with kids during lunchtime,” said Jordan. “We go in with curriculum to help improve grades and behavior. We do a group setting or assembly. We tailor the program to the school. We offer after-school programs too.”