WASHINGTON — In order to help ease some of the stress we’re all dealing with, Southeast D.C. group Community Shoulders hosted a “Jump Into Summer Positivity,” day at Anacostia Park.
“I want to help everybody and pay people’s bills!" Little Blake said, sharing that he wants to grow up and change the narrative.
Sunday at Anacostia Park, he along with his sister and friends, got to be kids. WUSA9 sat with them for a while as they took a little break from all the fun.
Makayla said people need to see the positivity coming from her community. “Like when I do, I mostly see bad things,” she said.
Sunday’s event was hosted by Jay Brown with Community Shoulders. He said they’re placing emphasis on rebuilding strong communities, understanding what resources families need and supporting women.
“We figure out what's going on with his family and how does this family affect what this youth is doing? Do they need food? Is it a learning disability? Whatever that situation may be, even if it's just the quality of life. Whatever the struggles are, we have to get to the root causes to even start dealing with the youth,” Brown said.
While live music played in the background, neighbors danced, and pickup games of basketball were played.
Eddie Paige, a lifelong Washingtonian, is frustrated with the grim reality that more than 100 homicides have happened so far in D.C. this year, and some of the victims are children. “Them not having hope, takes away their ability to want to change. They kind of stay stuck,” Paige said.
He said often times children will gravitate toward negative influences if they don’t see positive role models.
“I started using heroin at 11, in the sixth grade. "The people I watched grow up - that I idolized - they were heroin addicts,” he said.
But that won’t be the reality for these kids, Brown said.
“I want to be a math teacher,” one of the children, Aaliyah said.
They’re already thinking about their futures. “I want to be a politician, the mayor, a dancer, an Olympic star and a gymnast!” another child, Emily said.
That's what the day was all about; making sure they never lose sight of their dreams.