In the past two months, Youth Crossroads has been awarded three grants totaling close to $2 million to help address gun violence impacting youth and families in Cicero, Berwyn, Stickney, Summit, Lyons, and Forest View. The grants include $1.5 million over three years from Cook County’s Justice Advisory Council’s Gun Violence Prevention and Reduction Grant. Youth Crossroads also received a $225,000 grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA), which will be used to start a workforce development program. We were also awarded a grant for $261,000 to fund our counseling, youth development, and food security programs to support gun violence prevention. (Details of the grant will be announced in September). Youth Crossroads was awarded these grants because of our proven track-record in combining mental health services and after-school programs to provide a comprehensive system of support to teens most at-risk of gun violence. “Think First” is a counseling program which targets teens who display aggressive behaviors no matter the consequences. This program helps teens understand the root causes of their mental health and behavioral issues, and also helps them develop alternative strategies to resolve conflicts peacefully. We also offer after- school programs for at-risk students to keep them learning and engaged at the end of the school when anti-social behaviors take root.