MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Enough is enough. Put the guns down. STOP the violence. They're the feelings of many in Milwaukee when it comes to the violence we've already seen -- as summer is just beginning. And young people are no exception. They're trying to do something positive to put a stop the the violence.
Unfortunately, many of Milwaukee's young people have been impacted by shootings and violence in some way -- but they're trying to make their voices heard to put a stop to what they call "unnecessary" violence.
With signs and their own voices, teens from the Westside Academy 2 on Milwaukee's west side are trying to unite their community and get people talking about violence.
On Wednesday, June 4th, they took their message to the streets.
"We just want to make the world a better place around this community," Joseph Keith said.
14-year-old Keith has seen the effect of violence up close.
"It`s horrible. When you see someone getting shot, it feels like, like you`ll be scarred for life," Keith said.
Shootings have changed the way 13-year-old Shaniya Stevens lives her life.
"I don't go outside now," Stevens said. "I'll just stay in the house because you don't know what is happening if you just walk outside. You'd probably get shot or something."
Stevens says violence has had such an impact on her, she's using her voice to try to get her peers to put the guns down.
"It`s changed a couple of people and then those people can keep on passing it on and then eventually we`ll change a lot," Stevens said.
Stevens is a middle schooler who participates in Serve2Unite.
The group hosted a meeting on Wednesday -- where teens from across the city came together to talk about causes and solutions to gun violence.
"They`re going to get the chance to present them to the adults and say 'this is what we think should happen,'" Jennifer Koss, an eighth-grade teacher at Westside Academy II said.
"What we`re hoping tonight is that the kids get that outlet to start telling their stories -- to start sharing their stories to connect with other kids," Koss said.
"I`m excited for it because, you know, I guess I can change people," Stevens said.
Many of these young people say they have been extremely affected by the playground shooting that left 10-year-old Sierra Guyton seriously injured. They say they want to make sure children feel safe when they're playing outside.
CLICK HERE to visit the "Put the Guns Down - Milwaukee" Facebook page.