Harlem Youth Fair Aims to Stem Violence
August 30, 2011 7:43pm | By Jeff Mays, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer
Dancers at the El Barrio/East Harlem Youth Violence Task Force's annual youth fair Tues., Aug. 30, 2011. (DNAinfo/Jeff Mays)
HARLEM — The discussion about how to end youth violence is more than an academic exercise for 16-year-old Kayla Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was one of a group of teens at Brighton Beach with Tysha Jones in June when a gunman opened fire after an argument, killing the 16-year-old Jones and hitting four others.
"It could have been me," Rodriguez said. "It was all about gang violence. It was all over something stupid."
Rodriguez, an intern this summer at the Harlem Youth Court, came to the El Barrio/East Harlem Youth Violence Task Force's annual youth fair Tuesday hoping to prevent what happened to her and Tysha from befalling other young people.
Sponsored by East Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, the fifth-annual event was designed to connect young people with services such as Harlem RBI, Union Settlement Association, the Council for Unity and the Harlem Youth Court as a way to prevent teens from engaging in violence.
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