Friday, November 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Reality Check in Camden aims to scare youth from choosing the streets

In an effort to deter Camden kids from a criminal life on the streets, Rev. Sheila Jones will be hosting a 'Reality Check' seminar Saturday at St. John's Born Again Church in East Camden.

Reality Check in Camden aims to scare youth from choosing the streets

In an effort to deter Camden kids from a criminal life on the streets, Rev. Sheila Jones will be hosting a ‘Reality Check’ seminar Saturday at St. John’s Born Again Church in East Camden.

The event, which will be held from noon to about 3 p.m. Saturday, will feature law enforcement and former convicts speaking to youth about the dangers of drugs, gangs and teen pregnancy.

Jones, who lost her son to drug violence in 2001, wants to dispel “the myth of street life,” which is an “it won’t happen to me” approach, she said.

“I preach so many of these kids funerals and the line is so long and they have the t-shirts,” she said. “After street time of mourning is over, someone steps up to take that place.”

She wants to put an end to that cycle by having people who work with or used to be part of Camden's street life tell the kids that it’s not worth it.

One former drug dealer who served time in prison and is now a chef and mentoring area youth is expected to speak. 

The event will also have some parent awareness classes such as the dangers of the Internet, Jones said.

Because of the increased violence this year- 53 homicides this year and on pace to break Camden’s homicide record of 58 – Jones has been putting extra effort into this year’s event. (Jones held a similar event in 2010).

“There’s an urgency to go a little further this year,” Jones said. “It seems like a lot of the violence is being directed at young kids.”

In addition to Saturday’s events, a gospel rapper will be performing Sunday at St. John’s Church, Jones said. 

IF YOU GO:

Reality Check

St. John's Born Again Church, 220 N. 27th St. in East Camden

Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday

About this blog
Julia Terruso started covering Camden and its residents, agencies, government and school district in September 2013. Previously, she worked at the Newark Star-Ledger covering the criminal justice system in Essex County and prior to that Union County.

Julia is a proud graduate of Syracuse University, originally from the Philadelphia area. Email tips, concerns and story ideas to jterruso@phillynews.com or reach her at 856-779-3876 or on Twitter @juliaterruso. Reach Julia at .

Julia Terruso
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected