BROOKLYN - Community activists held a youth anti-violence rally Wednesday at Borough Hall in response to a rise of shootings in the borough.
Many of the teens invited to the rally were already on probation for violent crimes or came from neighborhoods like Brownsville and East New York, which have some of the highest rates of gun violence in the city.
The guest speakers lost children or went to prison themselves for years because of guns and drugs.
"We want to show that even if you are on probation... you don't have to go juvenile probation to adult probation to Rikers to state prison to federal," speaker West Gordan told the gathering. "You can decide today to change your life around.
Other speakers say similar programs helped them turn their own lives around, which is why they hope to make an impact on other at-risk youths.