It's been years since Denise Albritton walked as a teen along her childhood home near Australian Avenue and Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard. "It was safe, it was fun, you had no worries. Everybody knew everyone," she said.
Denise pursued a dream of modeling and a college degree. But as years passed she saw her old neighborhood changing. "A lot of growth in the area, and with the growth there comes a little bit of crime."
In 2015 nine juveniles were arrested for robbery, twelve for aggravated assault and more than a dozen for car theft, according to West Palm Beach police. That's why Denise and the local National Coalition of 100 Black Women are taking back their neighborhoods.
"It does concern me and it hurts me because we have so many young kids that don't understand the value of life, and that they are losing their lives at such a young age," she said.
She helped start a mentoring program for teen girls, but it doesn't stop there. "Who are your single parents? If we can provide the resources for a single mom, if we target the family unit, then you've got it to trickle down," she said.
Denise hopes the effort will grow teens into successful adults. "When people act out, it's a reason for it. It's not just because.
"It's survival, survival of the fittest is what they know how. So we have to teach them differently," she said.
The National Coalition of 100 Black Women: An Initiative Against Violence
Friday, March 4th, 2016
Shiloh Family Worship Center
2275 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd
West Palm Beach
7:30 am-9:00 am
For more information, contact Barbara Cheives 561-351-6864
Panelists at the breakfast include, WPB Police Chief Brian Kummerlen, Harmony House, The Family Connection, mental health experts and more.