LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Today, city officials came together to speak about the uptick in violence Lexington has seen over the last few days. Mayor Linda Gorton says she's proud of the progress ONE Lexington has made in reaching young people.
"ONE Lexington is starting to show success. We have significantly fewer homicide victims aged 13 to 29,” said Gorton.
For the first time this year, ONE Lexington presented two "Be the Change" scholarships. Nola Lewis won this scholarship and Asha Chekanao was the runner-up. Both students are continuing their education in criminal justice or related fields. ONE Lexington's director Devine Carama says it's important to see more people of color choosing their career paths.
"We need more black judges, we need more black prosecutors, right? Forensic scientists, every level. And so, this actually isn't just protest and talking about it, but how can we encourage them to actually be the change they want?" says Carama.
The “Be the Change” scholarship is awarded to students of color that are looking to pursue careers in criminal justice. That big scholarship was $20,000 and this year's runner-up participant received a one-time $10,000 scholarship.
"They’re both settled in, moved into their dorms and they are beginning their careers, and we're just blessed to be a part of that,” says Carama.
Carama says the goal of this scholarship is to give students of color new opportunities. As for violence in this city, he says the change will come slowly, but he's confident it will come. He hopes students like Lewis and Chekanao, will be a big part of that change.