KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knoxville Utility Board’s “TeenWork” program is partnering with Austin East High School students, teaching them on-the-job skills to prepare them for future careers.
At Saturday’s meeting, students addressed the recent gun violence in their community.
Austin East Junior, Briashay Moore, says KUB’s “TeenWork” program helps her learn real-world skills.
“(It) shows me opportunities in different jobs and careers that I want to do when I get older and it shows me how to be a leader in my city,” she said.
For the teens in this program, leading their community starts now.
“It really is a community problem and we need to change,” said Javell Swanson, an Austin East Senior, in regards to the uptick in gun violence.
“It makes me feel a little angry because no one truly deserves to die or to have their lives taken,” he added.
“It’s been sad seeing my classmates pass away,” said Erion Lee, a junior at Austin-East.
So Lee and her classmates are doing something about it.
Austin East students are shooting a community PSA with the help of KUB and our own WATE 6 On Your Side Staff to address the recent gun violence in their community.
“Having that connection, it opens doors to a lot of different opportunities,” Swanson explained.
The opportunities these students have can impact those around them.
“The family members of the people who’s lost their loved ones due to gun violence,” said Lee, “We’re here for you. We’re thinking of you throughout the hard times and everything you have been through.”
The hope is that their message can help make a change.
A date for when the PSA will air has not yet been decided.
During their meeting, the student made acts of kindness boxes to give to those families who have lost loved ones.
If you have any information that could help the Knoxville Police Department solve the two most recent shootings, you can call them at 865-215-7212.
You can remain anonymous.