By: Alyssa Bartholomew

The Summer of Service (SOS) program is a part of the Sacramento City School district where incoming freshmen work on service learning and community service. The students that participate in the program learn the ability to work together and help the community while having fun. Students get the choice of what area they would like to serve the community. My teammates and I chose Gang Violence in Sacramento because gang violence is a very serious issue in the Sacramento community. After researching the issue, we discovered that the most common age group to join a gang is between the ages of 12 and 14. My group was very curious as to why gangs have such an impact on young teenagers. We learned that most young teenagers look to gangs as a way to fit-in, they think it’s cool, or they want protection. Another reason young teenagers join gangs is lack of family support and they are looking to fill that void and be accepted.

We decided on creating a video for gang prevention and the impact gangs have on our community. In our video, we demonstrate how a good student and person take the wrong path when his family life starts to fall apart. This path leads him to violence, theft, drugs, and a lack of education. By joining a gang he risks losing his life, due to the violence or his freedom to jail, or even worse prison. In creating this video we also want young teenagers to see that they do have other options and resources than to join a gang.

Our goal is to show the video to junior high school students and demonstrate how gangs will affect their life negatively in the long run. We also want to provide resources for young teenagers who are feeling the pressure to join a gang. There are alternatives and support for gang prevention in Sacramento.

During my time at SOS, I learned how important it is to help the community. SOS allows students to choose what area they interested in helping the community.