The Joseph Adetula Foundation is dedicated to stopping the violence that is killing and imprisoning our young people. But it truly does take a village.
Our foundation wants to turn young people into the positive leaders of their communities. We want to show them how much they matter. Our mission is to show our youth the positive futures they could have if they avoid all the negative things around them, and then help them seize those futures.
We also want to help the victims and families heal from tragic losses like that of Joseph Adetula. Losing a child is terrible; losing him in such a senseless way is the worst thing imaginable. But you can heal, and you can have a tomorrow again. The Joseph Adetula Foundation will help.
Here's the reality.
- In 2002, more than 877,700 young people ages 10 to 24 were injured through violent acts, and one in every thirteen was hospitalized. Not taken to the doctor, hospitalized, as an inpatient.
- In 2001, 5,486 young people ages 10 to 24 were murdered -- an average of 15 each day. That's fifteen young men and women every day who could have made a difference, who were instead senselessly snuffed out.
- Homicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24 overall.
- Leading cause of death for African-Americans
- Second leading cause of death for Hispanics
- Third leading cause of death for American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and Asian Pacific Islanders
- In 2001, 79% of homicide victims ages 10 to 24 were killed with firearms
- In a nationwide survey, 17% of students reported carrying a weapon - a real one, not a butter knife or a plastic squirt gun -- on one or more days in the 30 days preceding the survey. That's one in every six students in school. That means on any given day, there are enough weapons in a school to mount a rebellion.
- 33% of students reported being in a physical fight one or more times in the 12 months preceding the survey. There is no information on how many of them used one of those weapons.
And then there's substance abuse, which contributes significantly toward violent behavior:
- 65% of the youth who drink alcohol say they get it from family and friends.
- By the 8th grade, 52% of adolescents have drunk alcohol, 41% have smoked cigarettes, and 20% have used marijuana
- In 2000, more than 60% of teens reported drugs were used, kept, or sold at their school.
- 50% of high school seniors admit drinking alcohol in the past 30 days with 32% report being drunk at least once in the same period. That's a third of our kids getting drunk! How are we missing this?
This is not a problem. This is an epidemic. We must stop it. We must keep our children from dying, from being injured, and from going to jail for committing senseless acts of violence.
Through education, expanded horizons, and self-esteem, we can release our young men from the real prisons: those of bad attitude and hopelessness.
**The statistics cited above can be found on the CDC website.