Gun Violence Left a Mark on His Childhood. He Says People Like Him Should Lead Efforts to Reduce It.

The South Central Leadership Academy was started in Los Angeles by a college student who believes that gun violence survivors like him should lead the community response in finding solutions to violence. Its first year of paying more than a dozen student survivors to learn community organizing skills succeeded in attracting funding to expand to Nashville, Baltimore, and Atlanta. COVID-19 put the latter two expansions on hold, but LA and Nashville continued with well-attended classes learning remotely. Founder Marco Vargas hopes to turn this startup into a national network of youth leadership academies.

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