Members of Breaking The Cycle Tru Star.
Residents of the 400 block of North Leclaire Avenue in Austin are tired of burying their children, watching helplessly as they are led off to prison, and seeing their children’s dreams destroyed by drugs, alcohol, and despair. Recently, they hosted a Dinner Gala for their local teenagers. Theme of the evening was Breaking The Cycle.
The concept embraced by the Leclaire block club is simple: Before you can stop the violence, you must first break the cycle. The message of the adults to their teens – “It is your challenge to break the cycle.” The teens were told that this is the turning point of their lives.
The program developed by Keith Parker, founder of Breaking The Cycle and Coordinator for the 400 Leclaire Block Club, provides resources and adult mentors the teenagers can refer to outside their homes for advice, counsel, and direction in making life’s difficult decisions. This is the type of network most adults rely upon, but many adolescents have not developed, leaving them isolated and forced to make important decisions based upon their own limited experiences or the often-flawed advice of peers. The block club sees this support system as truly putting into practice the African proverb: It takes a village to
raise a child.
Participants in Breaking The Cycle.
With the advice and support of trusted adults, it is hoped teens can make correct choices for the betterment of their lives and futures. The block club members point out that many of the choices today’s teens are faced with are decisions they shouldn’t have to make. With an adult support system, they can LOOK, LISTEN, SHARE, THEN BREAK THE CYCLE.
Keith Parker is Coordinator for the 400 North Leclaire Block Club & founder of Breaking The Cycle.
The Breaking The Cycle Dancers in action.
Leclaire Block Club President Dorothy White with Breaking The Cycle founder Keith Parker.
BREAKING THE CYCLE TEENAGERS: Quincy Yarrington, Malcolm Cooper, Gregory Smith, Christina Cooper, Anita Chambliss, Jimmie Chambliss, Serena Wosar, Charonda Dopson, Stran’Ja Burge, Jasmine Hobbs, and Johnny Beckworth
Duey, Christina, Charonda, and Jasmine serving the dinner with Chef Robert.