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Sen. Hagerty and national visitors learn more about gun violence initiatives in Memphis

As U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty looked on, life coaches and counselors reviewed the progress of one of the first participants in Memphis Allies’ SWITCH Youth program.

SWITCH Youth – Support with Intention to Create Hope – is designed to identify, connect and serve youth, aged 12 to 18, who are at highest risk of involvement in gun violence.

Like most of the young people the program serves, this youth came to us with multiple serious violent charges. He had been disconnected from school and other pro-social activities. His life coach and clinical specialist met with him intensely to help him back in school, maintain enrollment and catch up with classwork. He got an afterschool job and family connections improved.

So far, he is doing well. His life coach and clinical specialist were in attendance last week as the young man graduated from high school. He’ll continue receiving support from the program and, if needed, he can transition to SWITCH, the program that serves ages 17 to 30.

Sen. Hagerty and leaders from national gun violence reduction initiatives toured a new Memphis Allies building recently to learn more about the gun violence issues in the city and our initiative. They sat in on a SWITCH training session and the SWITCH Youth consultation before joining a roundtable discussion on violence challenges in Memphis.

Ja’Ron Smith, former White House official and senior fellow at Right on Crime, and Jacob Fish, director of criminal justice at Stand Together, joined the Senator on the tour.

The group met with others involved in gun violence reduction