DENVER (KDVR) — A local mother is turning her pain into love and continuing the conversation about youth violence. 

Kendra Ephriam-Rudd lost her husband, Deon Rudd, to gun violence 11 years ago.  

He was shot and killed on a Denver street in broad daylight in 2012. 

“I miss him so much,” Ephriam-Rudd said. “I was angry for so long and then how long can you be mad at kids that didn’t have opportunities that really didn’t know what the consequences were that day.” 

She’s worked with youth for years and has been adamant in addressing teen gun violence. 

“We can protest and write letters, do walk-outs, but we have to do something else,” Ephriam-Rudd said. said. “I honestly feel like if you give kids something to do, they’ll do it.” 

And she’s doing just that. This year Ephriam-Rudd is partnering with several local organizations for their first-ever fashion show on July 15 called “Thrive 2 Survive.” 

The event will feature several local designers and DJs. Ephriam-Rudd said the proceeds will help fund a new program at The McBride Impact, a local organization that helps underserved communities.  

Jason Mcbride, the founding executive director and a secondary youth violence prevention specialist with Struggle of Love Foundation, said the organization is working to kick-start a new program inspired by the show Battlebots.  

“They’re these robots that kids, well the people on the show program the robots and the robots get into this ring and battle it out,” McBride said.  

He said they’re using the premise to create change.  

“You take the gang aspect out of it and make it a team,” McBride said. “Instead of our kids being the guinea pigs and being the victims of these fights, of these gunshots, that aggression is taken out through these robots.”  

Giving the kids they help something to do and come back to.  

The fashion show event is on July 15 at 2101 Arapahoe St. in Denver from 2-4 p.m. Ephriam-Rudd said their goal is to raise $20,000. 

There is also a GoFundMe accepting donations toward projects helping curb youth violence.

“My motto is keeping kids on their feet and off their backs because on their feet they can do a million things and go a bunch of places, but on their back it’s only one,” Ephriam-Rudd said.