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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — After a violent weekend in the metro area involving teens, FOX31 talked with two people who work with youth on a daily basis. 

Lumumba Sayers and his business partner Shalonda Palmer said the problem goes beyond guns. 

“It’s definitely more than just a gun issue. A lot of kids don’t love themselves,” Sayers said. “They don’t know what direction they’re heading in and they don’t have anyone to give them that outstanding guidance to lead them in the right direction.” 

Sayers is the founder of Heavy Hands Heavy Hearts (HHHH), an organization that helps youth and adults become self-sufficient and resist negative influences. 

“You’d be surprised how many kids can’t tell you what they love about themselves,” Sayers said. 

Palmer, the CEO of Star Girlz Empowerment, said she sees the same thing. 

“Some people are just living to be living and there’s no purpose behind where they’re living,” Palmer said. 

Both are working toward a common goal. 

“We’re trying to give them a reason to live and help them understand what their purpose is to be able to guide them in the right direction,” Palmer said. 

They said many teens are lacking support and guidance, turning to violence as a way to make quick money just to survive.  

“That quick money is addicting,” Sayers said. “You get used to that quick money and sometimes you don’t care what the chance is that you take to get it because you’re in survival mode.” 

“The simple solutions to that could just be feeding them a meal or giving them a simple snack to curve that behavior,” Palmer said. 

Both said it’s hard to pinpoint one solution, but said it starts with teaching self-love.  

“Once we start to get these kids to think outside the box and understand who they are and what they love about them, that tells them who they are,” Sayers said. “I teach them that if you learn to love yourself it’ll make it that much easier for everyone else to love you and for you to stay on the right path without self-destruction.”  

Sayers and Palmer said they’re also working on creative solutions like incorporating art, music and recreation with therapy to better reach and teach these kids.