That week, a series of rallies designed to get area youth up, out, and thinking about ways to prevent youth violence, took place throughout Chicagoland. Teens from all walks of life were given the opportunity to get together to hear from area role models. They were able to strategize about violence prevention and break some stereotypes—all while having fun along the way.
The P.O.P. rally was the brainchild of the organization’s co-founder, Dr. Michael A. McGee. Together with P.O.P.’s other co-founder, Dr. Reuben Rutland and business partner Dr. Airron Richardson (the trio owns Premier Urgent Care and Occupational Health Center), Dr. McGee developed this project for a couple of reasons. He wanted to show Chicago kids more examples of positive role models and teach them some skills they can take back to their schools to help with youth violence prevention. Premier Urgent Care funded this project solely and provided hundreds of students with the opportunity to speak out about youth violence. The CSO Sports Multiplex hosted the event in its space, adjacent to the Premier Urgent Care Center located at 1301 East 47th Street in Hyde Park. The CSO Sports Multiplex and the medical center where Premier Urgent Care is located was created by former Chicago Bears wide receiver and practicing orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Gregory Primus. The medical center is home to physicians practicing a variety of specialties that include orthopedics, podiatry, pain management, chiropractic medicine, and gastroenterology (GI).
The event tied in perfectly with last week’s National Youth Violence Prevention Week (NYVPW), a campaign designed by the national organization – Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) – to provide education and intervention to youth affected by all types of violence, including gun violence. The P.O.P. program has proved to be an ideal organization embodying the values of NYVPW and starting SAVE chapters in high schools across the region.
P.O.P. has been reaching out to Chicago and Northwest Indiana youth with its dual message of change through mentorship and youth violence prevention since 2015, when it became a 501(c)(3) incorporated nonprofit organization. P.O.P. started the Health Professions Enrichment Program (HPEP), which pairs students with mentors in the health industry and strives to provide career insight, study advice, and a head start on a productive, fulfilling career for at-risk youth.
To learn more visit: NWIPOP.ORG or by phone 219-798-0744. The organization is actively working to create solutions for the problems facing our communities.