Who will 40,000+ gang members of Los Angeles listen to? A 54-year-old Catholic priest. But he actually spends most of his time listening to them.
Rev. Stan Bosch recently earned his Clinical Psy.D. from The Chicago School, and works to end the vicious cycle of youth-on-youth violence. As part of a new anti-gang program called Gang Reduction and Youth Development, he focuses on stopping retaliations that often follow shootings. He intervenes on the scene to control rumors about which gang is responsible for the incident and counsels the families and gang members when they’re most emotional.
“Many of these kids don’t know what they feel and nobody asks them,” says Dr. Bosch, whose passion is to get at the deeper wounds that lead youth to join gangs and commit horrendous acts of violence on each other. “Violence is diminished in neighborhoods where people are connected and know each other by their real names.”