MILWAUKEE— The solution to ending youth violence in Milwaukee starts with adults, according to local religious leaders.

“It starts at home with parenting because they have to be the first role models,” said Andre Robinson, director of Violence Free Zone for Milwaukee Christian Center.

The Milwaukee Christian Center operates Violence Free Zone programming at Bay View, Pulaski, James Madison Academic Campus, South Division and Bradley Tech High Schools, while the Violence Free Zone partner organization Running Rebels operates the program at additional schools. 

Mentors serve as moms, dads and coaches for hundreds of students at Milwaukee Public Schools. The program also gives students a space where they can have a conversation with an adult.

“If you have issues with other young people call your mentor or get a mentor and get that person to figure out what the situation is and then they can connect all parties together and figure out what really is happening. You can’t do that on social media because everyone has their own opinion,” said Robinson. 

Robinson stressed if a kid doesn't have a mentor, there are plenty of people who are willing to serve as one across Milwaukee.

"There are tons of options in Milwaukee right now for youth mentoring from the Office of Violence Prevention, the Running Rebels and the Milwaukee Christian Center, to 414 Life" explained Robinson.

To learn more about this program, click here.