RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - VCU Medical Center's chief of trauma says he is fed up with violence.
Dr. Michael Aboutanos is now teaming with the Boys and Girls Club and visiting some of Richmond's most notorious neighborhoods to tackle crime.
"We want to be part of the solution. We want to prevent this from happening," Dr. Aboutanos said.
The doctor is visiting some of those Richmond communities as part of the year-long Emerging Leaders program, with weekly sessions focusing on subjects like injury and violence prevention, financial literacy, and more.
NBC12 was there during the program's graduation ceremony. The idea behind the program is simple.
"The same kids that we see come to us injured, why don't we go there a lot sooner and try to make a difference," Dr. Aboutanos said.
The program is in its second year at MLK Middle School with most of the 30 graduates of this year's program living in the Mosby Court.
"And folks believe can't nothing good come out of Mosby, but something good can come out of Mosby. Yes it can. Here I am," Charles Willis of United Communities Against Crime said.
Willis shared that message with the graduates and danced his way into their hearts.
After hosting countless vigils for families of victim's violence, Willis is hoping the program will make a difference.
"As executive director of United Communities Against Crime, (it) put me out of the prayer vigil business. I don't want to do another prayer vigil," Willis said.
During Thursday's graduation ceremony, there were even a few VCU standout basketball players, all joining Aboutanos in sharing one message to the young minds at MLK Middle School.
"That you are worth something. That you are going to be somebody, and we are going to help you get those skills to be able to do that," Dr. Aboutanos said.
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