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"Goals Not Guns" Forum Focuses on Youth Gun Violence

The forum was held at Miami Dade College's historic Tower Theater.
Holly Pretsky
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Miami city commissioner Frank Carollo hosted the second annual "Goals Not Guns" forum at the Tower Theater in Little Havana Tuesday.

Law enforcement officials shared their experiences responding to youth gun violence calls. They emphasized the trauma involved, reminding their audience that those experiences follow them home.   

Read more: Young Survivors, The Unspoken Trauma of Gun Violence

Myya Passmore and Latrinia Stubbs, both victims of gun violence, spoke at the forum.
Credit Holly Pretsky / WLRN
The Florida Channel
Myya Passmore and Latrinia Stubbs, both victims of gun violence, spoke at the forum.

Two survivors of gun violence, Myya Passmore and Natrinia Stubbs spoke as well. Myya Passmore previously shared her storyas part of WLRN's "Young Survivors" series. Commissioner Carollo awarded each with a City of Miami Salute. 

Carollo says one of the forum's objectives is to connect groups and programs working to help youth set and achieve goals. 

"There's a lot of great programs out there," he says, "but it seemed like they were working in silos."

One such program is CareerSource Summer Youth Employment.  Ezekial Hobbes, a Booker T. Washington Senior High School student that has participated  in the program for three years, said "it prepared me and my peers, how to save money, what to do with our money, how to have a budget." 

Carollo invited celebrities to the event. Radio personality Papa Keith emceed, DJ Khaled sent a video message, and Flo Rida made an appearance.

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Holly Pretsky is a Colorado native who loves riding her bike around, eating tuna sandwiches, asking questions, and climbing mountains.She discovered radio storytelling when she won second place in an informal audio essay competition her sophomore year of college. The prize: a t-shirt from the local radio station. Since then, she's graduated from Colorado College and continued reporting in Colorado Springs and now Miami. One of her favorite things is learning about people who dedicate themselves to things she didn't know existed, and being reminded how much passion there is in the world.