Community mentor Sam Vaughn recounts how a program offering radical interventions of love and support to the most violent young men has dramatically reduced the homicide rate in one of the most dangerous US cities.


Committed mentor for violence-prone youth in what was once one of the top ten most dangerous cities in the country, Sam Vaughn serves as a Neighborhood Change Agent for Richmond, California’s Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS). His experiences being mentored by elders while incarcerated for a decade inspired him to become a community leader and help other young men avoid his fate. Believing that violent youth will make better choices for themselves and their communities when able to visualize a healthier path and given life skills, the ONS fellowship program serves as surrogate family for these young men. Over 80% of the ONS fellows have stayed away from gun violence and now live with much more hope and promise. Meanwhile, Richmond’s homicide rate has plummeted. Sam recently collaborated with the ONS to publish their first children's book, Be A Change Agent For Your Communitya gun violence prevention book. 


A Culture of Health Includes Everyone
Guest post by Sam Vaughn on the TEDMED Blog

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Gun violence and what to do about it
Every day, another shooting is in the news. The outlook is dismal. There is a silver lining: we can change the sad gun violence numbers.