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*NEW ORLEANS — They say that big things appear in babyish packages. That’s an authentic description of New Orleans Adolescence Affiliation architect Brideisha Harness-Parker. Her babyish ability is akin with a big heart, assurance and charge to the adolescence of New Orleans.
She works circadian in high-crime areas to save as abounding kids as she can from acceptable a statistic. Even during this buzz interview, she was beggared at a bounded ATM. But annihilation derails her mission. She has partnered with the Save Our Adolescence Nola alignment to actualize job opportunities and a abode of ambush for New Orleans kids.
Harness-Taylor is additionally accomplishing a door-to-door dollar drive, alive on a “Save Our Youth” rally, as able-bodied as lining up basketball tournaments statewide.
Zenger News bent up with this adjacency “she-ro” to altercate the challenges she faces the accent of accepting a architecture for her alignment and abundant more.
Percy Crawford interviewed Brideisha Harness-Parker for Zenger News.
Zenger: You are accomplishing amazing work. How is aggregate going?
Harness-Parker: It’s activity appealing good. I’m alive on the Save Our Adolescence Nola initiative, which is a accumulated accomplishment of my organization, the New Orleans Adolescence Coalition, forth with the “Level Up” campaign. We aloof basically alloyed both organizations to ability added kids.
With the Save Our Adolescence Campaign, we are activity door-to-door allurement our association for $1. That money is activity adjoin our architecture fund. We accept faced abounding challenges alive with burghal admiral and added organizations. We faced all types of roadblocks; now we are demography the initiative. We charge the association to advice us advice them.
Zenger: What is the timeline to accepting your building?
Harness-Parker: Six months to a year. Not necessarily to get the building, but be able to buy the acreage or charter a building. If it takes longer, fine, but that time anatomy is perfect.
Zenger: Aback you face roadblocks, what keeps you going?
Harness-Parker: Prime example, today is Saturday, I aloof larboard addition kid’s funeral, a kid I had been apprenticeship aback he was 13. He’s now 19 and he was aloof killed. I accept my daughter, I accept my husband, I accept a babyish accumulation of bodies who are consistently praying for me and there for me. But sometimes, it does get hard. Aback 2011, I accept absent over 10 kids. I absent added kids than that during the pandemic.
I feel like it would be egocentric of me to aloof stop. I’m on the buzz with you appropriate now, and my bedmate is demography affliction of the $300 that was baseborn from me. And aggravating to get this little babe out of bastille because she took three accoutrements out of a car and put them in the trunk. I absolutely don’t accept a best here, I accept got to do the work.
Zenger: For all the abundant things New Orleans has to offer, abomination can get out of control. Is the ambition to action these kids article added than actuality on the streets?
Harness-Parker: A lot of bodies say: “Keep our kids off the streets.” We afflicted the narrative. We absolutely appetite to accumulate them on the streets, acceptation we appetite them to be able to body the acreage like this new building.
I’m about to cycle out artery basketball tournaments beyond the city. We don’t appetite them off the streets because aback they are not on the streets, they are acute adjoin anniversary other. We appetite to accommodate bread-and-butter opportunities for them.
Zenger: Is there a accurate age accumulation or absolute you guys accord with?
Harness-Parker: Starting at age 6, we accept assets and programs. We absolutely accept job opportunities for adolescence starting at age 14.
Zenger: You came from the criminal-justice arrangement and didn’t accede with the way the juveniles were punished. Did that advance you to actualize the New Orleans Adolescence Coalition?
Harness-Parker: I’ve been into this affectionate of assignment aback I was 8. The affiliation came about by me saying: “I apperceive all of these organizations, all of these bodies beyond the city, the accompaniment and the world.” I took my assets and put them beneath my group. If you alarm me on the buzz and say, “Hey Brideisha, I accept a kid from the Juvenile Justice Center, they aloof came out, they charge some accessible resources,” I’m not aloof activity to be able to accelerate them to one place. I accept a agglomeration of opportunities.
Let me say this: I feel adolescent or adult, the abomination you committed, you should absolutely accept by those consequences. I’m not aggravating to babyish or accord anybody a pat on the hand. I’m adage that, I formed in a adolescence abstraction center. Kids should not be advised like prisoners are advised in Angola, by not agriculture them food, burglary money that’s declared to go to them, lying to their parents about assertive things that are activity on in there.
What needs to appear is fix the behavior and procedures that are declared to be in place, so we can get a little progress. But appropriate now, the adolescence centermost is like Apple War III. We got kids from altered ward’s angry anniversary other, we got agents accepting sex with the kids. It’s too much. What happened to the abstraction that kids, mommas, adults and chief citizens were not to be touched? We’re accident our kids added than anytime appropriate now.
Zenger: You aloof did an accident in the 9th Ward. What blazon of accident was that and what do you accept planned?
Harness-Parker: That was our Easter Event, the day we kicked off our $1 campaign. We’re absolutely about to lock bottomward a date for our “Save Our Youth” rally, area it’s activity to be a anniversary for all kids to booty advantage of assets and job opportunities and mental-health casework for families.
Zenger: Do you feel abjection is the capital escalator to crime?
Harness-Parker: It’s absolutely poverty, forth with a little of the systems that are advisedly fabricated to accumulate us beneath that abjection line.
Zenger: What would be the absolute catastrophe to the goals you are aggravating to achieve in New Orleans?
Harness-Parker: At this point, we accept aggregate all the organizations, all the assets — now we charge a architecture area we can accommodate assets and casework to families and absolutely abode these kids. Because what’s accident in our Juvenile Justice System, they appear out of jail, they accept to go aback and chambermaid poverty.
There is not one rehabilitation centermost in Orleans Parish for our juveniles. How can we accumulate them off the streets if our arrangement is advised to accumulate them on the streets?
Zenger: Is there a kid that absolutely stands out in your apperception and angry the bend through the program?
Harness-Parker: V. Anderson, he is one of my kids who was built-in and aloft in the Melpomene Projects. He has lived in abjection his accomplished life. Even afterwards accident his mother, aloof afresh accident his grandmother, and consistently been amidst by gun violence, he’s absolutely been appealing acknowledged as a adolescent bounded rapper.
He’s additionally alive in his community, and he told me he’s aggravating to chase in my footsteps, apprenticeship and mentoring kids. That’s big for me, to accept a kid, who came to me at the age of 13 and is now 22, saying: “Coach, I’m accomplishing what I’m accomplishing because of you.”
Zenger: Accumulate accomplishing what you’re doing, because you are actually extenuative lives.
Harness-Parker: Please animate bodies to appointment our website and chase our amusing media platforms: @for_theyouth, @noyc___, and 2saveouryouthnola.
(Edited by Matthew B. Hall and Fern Siegel)
The column Architect Of New Orleans Adolescence Affiliation Determined To Actualize Ambush For Kids appeared aboriginal on Zenger News.
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