CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Champaign City Council and other local leaders are stepping up to stop gun violence in the community.
One local leader, Banio Koroma Jr., created his own initiative called Vision to Succeed to help young men get away from violence and gear them toward positive outlets like mentorship.
“We teach ethics,” Koroma said. “We teach non-violence. We teach young men to not go with what society tells you it means to be a man.”
Koroma has been a mentor for more than eight years. But his idea for an organization came after his mentee, 16-year-old David Sankey was gunned down several years ago. Koroma said his death left him asking many questions about gun violence.
“Why are these young men killing themselves?” Koroma said. ‘Why are they killing their brothers and other innocent people in the community?”
Koroma believes he can help, but he can’t do it alone. He plans to work with the city’s Community Gun Violence Reduction Blueprint to effect change in a big way.
“This problem has been in our community, in the City of Champaign for a long time,” Koroma said. “So, we have a mutual interest with the City of Champaign to reduce, not just crime, but violent crime in our community.”
Koroma presented to the city council Tuesday night asking for $45,000 to fund his organization. Council members are expected to vote on if he will receive that money.