BALTIMORE — Youth gun violence continues to be a trend in Baltimore.
In May, 17 teenagers were shot. In June, nine teens were shot, and now, just two weeks into July, eight teenagers have been shot with four killed. this month.
Donyelle Brown, who lost her son to gun violence, said as a parent her heart aches everyday. However, instead of being angry, she uses her pain to change the path of at-risk youth through mentorship.
Although it's not easy, Brown encourages other families to learn how to heal and keep their child’s memory alive through positivity.
"You never get over it," Brown said. "I live with it everyday. I turned my pain into purpose by creating this youth program to help at-risk youth through education, empowerment, advocacy, and gun violence prevention."
Child psychologists say most youth violence is a product of their environment. Children aren't born with guns in their hands, it's a choice to pull the trigger based on life events.
Experts say it starts with parents.
Caretakers need to address their own mental health first then teach children how to properly handle their emotions so it doesn't result in violence.
"If you, as a parent, can just acknowledge that, then hey, I'm struggling emotionally right now, and I'm going to take steps to support that, then your child is seeing that and learning from that," said Kay-De-Ann Rattray, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Healing for Success
Community members also think, instead of investing into resources that at-risk youth don't relate to, the city should invest in people they can relate to.
"Kids in my generation are dying and killing, but we also can be a part of the solution. They gotta let these young people that want to be a part of the solution, who got the influence, respect, and relationships within in the community, to really be a part of the solution," said community member Lorr Tone.