Youth initiative seeks funding

Published 8:00 am Thursday, May 11, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Bruce Griggs, founder of the Saving Our Sons campaign, presented a funding request for a couple of initiatives to help address youth violence in LaGrange.

Bruce is the son of the late William J. Griggs, the namesake of the recently renovated recreation center on Glenn Robertson Dr.

Griggs’ Saving Our Son’s campaign is an Atlanta-based youth violence prevention program that he has brought to his hometown in response to the city’s recent epidemic of youth violence.

Griggs is planning a three-day youth conference for young boys titled “A Call to Manhood” at Great Wolf Lodge in late May.

The first annual “boys to men” conference would take 20 young men properly initiate them into adulthood and hopefully prevent them from choosing the path of gangs and other youth violence, Griggs said. The conference would include workshops to teach kids about the law, the power of their own choices, choosing the right friends, and staying alive and free.

Griggs said Kenan Thompson, of Saturday Night Live fame, has donated $5,000 toward the event, which is budgeted at $20,000. He sought $5,000 from the City of LaGrange to help additionally pay for it.

Griggs said he is impressed with the investments LaGrange has made to make the city look better but children need to be invested into as well.

“Every time I ride around LaGrange from the city that I used to be in. They’re continuing to invest in the buildings and the infrastructure of the city, but we as a people have to invest in the children also,” Griggs said.

Griggs also requested $75,000 to fund a similar eight-week summer camp that would teach spirituality, African American history, personal development and hygiene, education and careers, etiquette, personal economics, life skills and fine arts.

City Manager Meg Kelsey said she would include the requests in the annual budget discussions in scheduled for May 23.