Owensboro non-profit inspiring youth to ‘break the cycle’

Group designed to curb violence, incarceration
Owensboro non-profit inspiring youth to ‘break the cycle’
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 4:19 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2022 at 8:11 AM CST
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - After more than a dozen shootings in Owensboro over the past couple of months, a non-profit is working to stop the violence.

Brionna Greer, the founder of the “Breaking the Cycle” organization, was just a high school student when she decided she wanted to be the change and stop the violence in the community. She created a non-profit called Breaking the Cycle in 2019.

“So I thought to myself, ‘what can I do to stop the gun violence and incarceration rates?’ So we started Breaking the Cycle,” Greer said.

Greer’s idea is now a mentorship program available to students between the ages of 10 and 18. They get together twice a month. The goal is to teach the students about post-graduation opportunities so they can live up to the program’s name, but Breaking the Cycle offers other benefits to these kids as well. Greer says they support them with their mental health needs. She says several community mentors partner with the kids as a source of encouragement to them. They even brought in someone to teach the students self defense.

She says the organization’s main goal all goes back to the name.

“You may be the first one to graduate college in your family. That’s breaking the cycle,” Greer said “You might be the first one to not get incarcerated. That is breaking the cycle.”

Greer has seen much success since starting the program, including one member now attending Harvard University. However, she says the recent violence makes her want to do more, and she wants to see the community step up.

“We all need to come together, so like I said, city officials as well, but you also have to think of parenting,” Greer said. “You have to think of everyone in the community to come together because one person can’t fix it. Breaking the Cycle can’t fix it. We need more organizations out there like mine, as well as the community to come together and address these issues.”

She believes more programs on the west side of town could help curb the violence. For information on getting involved, visit the organization’s website or visit the Facebook page here.

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