As House Speaker Paul Ryan declared after a site visit to Milwaukee schools participating in the Violence Free-Zone Initiative:

“These are successful programs that are getting kids out of violence and getting young men out of gangs. These are the kinds of things that are seeing success that we want to replicate and want to amplify. ”

VFZ Staying True Scholarship Awards Program

The Woodson Center, a nationwide network supporting effective community-based initiatives to address youth crime, joins with the Milwaukee Christian Center and the Running Rebels to present the “Staying True Scholarship Awards.” The three organizations have collaborated to coordinate a Violence-Free Zone initiative in Milwaukee schools that has been hailed for its success in reducing rates of youth crime, violence, and truancy and enhancing the academic performance of at-risk students.

The 2016 ceremony recognized 18 students from Milwaukee high schools as peer mentors who have exhibited exemplary leadership as ambassadors of peace in their community. Each student will be awarded a scholarship for $2,500 to assist with tuition costs at the educational institution of their choice for a total of $45,000 in awards.