CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) - Nineteen young adults have a chance to turn their lives around after being involved in gun violence.
They were selected to be part of the sixth CU Fresh Start call-in. City officials, community leaders and families who were affected by gun violence had a face-to-face conversation about putting the guns down.
The message they wanted to get across to those young men was "stay alive, stay safe and succeed in life". The group was warned if they continued to be on the path they were on, they would experience the consequences.
Mary Brown understands what it means to lose a loved one to gun violence. Her son, Rashidi Overstreet, was shot and killed.
"They were hurting," Brown said. "They want to be brave and it hurts them to realize that their friends have been killed."
Nearly 80 people have been called in during the course of six of these events. Most of them described Thursday's meeting as a "lesson and a blessing".