Effort underway to help curb teen violence in Denver

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DENVER -- There is an intense effort underway to help teens get out of gangs and out of danger in Denver.

One former gang member tells Fox31 more kids will continue dying if more isn't done to help them.

The recent uptick in the number of kids dying has parents and former gang members like Jason McBride concerned.

He works for Denver's Gang Rescue and Support Project also known as GRASP.

McBride said helping teens deal with scarred pasts is a priority.

"We need to address that trauma change and introduce them to other things so they can be successful," he said.

Mc Bride says it works because of young men like Samuel Elfay. Until a few years ago, Elfay was a hard core gang member. The 18 year old says GRASP helped turn his life around.

"It took a lot of setbacks and a lot of progress for me to understand, this is what I need to do for myself, not just what I want to do for others and my friends," he said.

GRASP intervention meetings eventually led Elfay to the Aim Global School on Colfax.

The non-traditional school caters to kids with troubled backgrounds.

Mc Bride believes both GRASP meetings and AIM are helping save lives, like Elfay's.

Elfay now sits on several juvenile justice boards.

It breaks my heart especially with the work I do," he said. "I know some of these kids who are both perpetrators and victims. It shouldn't be this way."

Elfay and Mcbride now trying to get more teens in the programs, in the process helping them get off the streets and stay alive.

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