Watch CBS News

Chicago Father Building Communication While Mentoring CPS Students

CHICAGO (CBS) -- One Chicago father is doing more than just worrying about violence targeting kids. he's doing something about it. and he has a message for other dads.

CBS 2's Steven Graves spoke with the father about his important mission.

"We are literally losing our future."

Joseph Williams is talking about kids and teens. thinking about his own five children and other young people he mentors and their emotional trauma.

"One day you could see your classmate in school with you and the next day they might not be there due to gun violence," Williams said.

Two teens shot dead just last night in the city. 16-year-old Kierra Moore hit in a drive-by.

15-year-old Marvell Cunningham killed in a house.

A 14-year-old girl was injured at Philips high school on Tuesday. All happened just this week.

"It really sends a message. 'what's happening right now in Chicago?"

A question Williams, who is the executive director of a group called Mr. Dad's Father's Club, is talking with Chicago Public Schools' CEO.

The group mentors' students in schools and gets fathers involved in their kids' lives. Also providing reading sessions in public libraries. All activities that help build communication.

"The only way you can do that is by actually having encounters with these children over and over and over until they open up to you and say 'hey, this is what I'm going through," Williams said. "Therapy helps. Being able to talk."

Selena King, a Simeon high alum, sees it working.

Just recently, she worked with bringing counselors into her old school. She saw a need after two students were shot within hours off school grounds.

She says students at first, they don't need it, but the response have been good.

"It always starts out like that 'yeah, I don't think I need it. especially young people who are not used to communicating like that or thinking you just take it internal. But so far, they've been getting good responses from the students, the staff like it," King said.

filling a need that might be overlooked but could help so many young people build a future.

CPS allocated millions of dollars earlier this year to address trauma in schools. It outlined needs like, at least one trained staff member in each building. But some teachers are fighting for more to be done.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.