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Columbus group hopes to end violence among youth

Mayor Andrew Ginther awarded a $500,000 grant to Sean Stevenson and his group "End the Violence" in hopes of keeping kids out of trouble.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The city of Columbus is on pace to beat the homicide record that was set last year.

Mayor Andrew Ginther announced on Tuesday a number of different programs and initiatives to calm the violence.

Sean Stevenson and his "End the Violence" group are among the programs.

“We influence the influencers to change the concept and the mindset of the people who do these things," Stevenson said.

Ginther announced Stevenson and his group were awarded a $500,000 grant, in hopes of reaching kids who may be involved in some of the recent violence.

“Even just being there for them, and being someone who cares. That makes the biggest difference in any trouble kid's life,” said Ciara Frazier.

Frazier is an amateur boxer and is working with the youth, especially young girls.

Police have said an unusual number of teen girls have been involved in recent purse thefts and carjackings.

“They teach these kids way more than self-defense boxing. There's structure, there's self-respect, self-esteem. It goes way beyond boxing,” said Tiffani Logan, the manager of United Sports Athletics Gym.

Because of COVID restrictions, they are only able to help about 100 kids a week. They hope once the restrictions are lifted, they will be able to help more kids.

“When COVID lifts up, there's no telling how many people because this is not the only place we are interacting with this place. We are coming to the kids. We are in the community,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson says while the boxing club is always open, they have plenty of other ways to reach kids and adults where they are.

“That's the whole point of End the Violence, we hit the streets. We're in the neighborhood,” Logan said.

RELATED: Mayor Ginther, city leaders announce anti-violence efforts in Columbus

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