WASHINGTON (ABC7) — Students met at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, on Tuesday, to discuss issues affecting them in the community.
Chief Peter Newsham and Commander Andre Wright joined them to listen.
Last year, students at Thurgood Marshall Academy lost two classmates to gun violence, including Zaire Kelly and Paris Brown.
Since then, some started the Pathways to Power movement, to channel that pain into action.
They are also remembering 16-year-old Breon Austin, who was shot and killed in his home in Northwest on Friday.
“It’s very easy to experience one death and then another one...and you become immune to...people dying and you start to accept that as your life,” said Lauryn Renford, who is a Senior at Thurgood Marshall Academy. “We want to change minds, we want to combat the mindset that deems violence and toxic communities as the norm for people that look like us.”
Renford is attending George Washington University in the fall.
“Just seeing things like those that don’t necessarily directly affect us, they still do take a toll on us,” said senior N’yana Martin.
Martin plans on majoring in political science at Morgan State University in the fall.
The city has had 52 homicides since the year started.
That’s a 37 percent increase, compared to this time last year.