Peace keeping program in Roxbury’s H-Block

Bridgit Brown | 8/10/2011, 12:06 a.m.

Through the My Summer in the City Initiative, The Boston Foundation has awarded $250,000 in grants to 12 nonprofits to engage low-income, high-risk, youth in positive activities throughout Boston this summer.

“This initiative,” Grogan continued, “and our other summer funding recognizes [the work of these organizations] and strengthens their efforts during the summer months — a time when it’s critical to keep the young people of our city engaged and occupied in positive programs.”

Last year more than 32,000 youth and their families were reached through the My Summer in the City Initiative, which also created 400 jobs for youth in Boston. This year, an additional $460,000 will go to five other summer funding initiatives.

The first part of the plan is withdrawal: a commitment to stay away from an adversary’s area with intent to cause harm or disturb the peace.

The second part is about responsibility. This includes a change in attitude, making apologies, resolving outstanding warrants and completing probation requirements.

The third is to rebuild through an understanding of one’s purpose, gifts and a commitment to change. Fourth are resources, or connecting with church, family and community-based organizations that can help one achieve his or her goals.

Fifth is autonomy or being able to see one’s self moving independently throughout the city, state and country in an effort to develop a path to peace and success. And finally, the sixth is sector meetings or meeting with other youths to confirm that the peace process is working and that each person involved in the truce is making an effort to pray, seek, think and make peace a part of his or her daily life.  

Norfleet’s sister, Teah, has been employed as a peace keeper in the program since its start four years ago.  

“We picked up this program where my brother left off,” she explained. “He was trying to create peace, and we are mainly trying to do the same thing by presenting positive activities to the kids, and reeling them in from the streets or gang activity as much as we can.”

When asked to describe her brother’s personality, Teah laughed and said that Jahmol was very, very talkative, and someone who had to make people laugh no matter what.

“He was incredibly friendly,” she added, “and he also loved children.”