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South Bend officials look to uplift youth this summer

Gemma DiCarlo
South Bend Mayor James Mueller speaks at a press conference about the city's youth on Thursday, June 9.

South Bend officials are hoping to keep young people safe and engaged this summer.

Mayor James Mueller said between the isolation measures of the COVID-19 pandemic and instances of violence like the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, it’s been a tough couple of years for the city’s youth.

“That has a real impact on our kids,” he said. “We need to double our efforts as a community to make sure that we’re supporting them and we’re making sure that they’re able to move forward.”

Representatives from the local faith community, the school corporation, the police department and various city offices spoke Thursday about ways youth could get involved in different activities this summer, such as the Police Athletic League, internships with Downtown South Bend, and volunteer opportunities through Venues, Parks & Arts.

“We can no longer use our circumstances as an excuse for destruction in our city. We are all going through something, which is why we need to lean on each other,” Kaitlyn Nicholson, a member of the South Bend Common Council’s Youth Advisory Council, said.

There are also two anti-gun violence events this weekend — a March for Our Lives rally at 11 a.m. Saturday, and at 5 p.m. Sunday, the third annual Prayer for Peace rally from local activist group Let’s Turn it Around at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Both events begin in the John R. Hunt Plaza in downtown South Bend.

Contact Gemma at or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

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