TALLAHASSEE, FL– Florida A&M University’s head football coach Willie Simmons has placed himself at the forefront of solving gun violence in his community. Gun violence is an epidemic that has affected America’s youth especially here in Tallahassee. There have been almost 60 shootings in Tallahassee alone so far this year, 19 of those ending with lives taken.
Simmons shared a public announcement on his Twitter account about donating to the youth on Giving Tuesday. A heavy-hearted Simmons tweeted on Tuesday about youth gun violence. He asked for donations to support the youth to come together in lieu of support to the athletic program.
“We have to take action, and I wanted to be one of the leaders to get out in the community and talk to the youth,” said Simmons. “[The community] has a leg in the fight, and we aren’t on the sidelines watching things happen.”
Gun Violence hits too close
During a stop gun violence assembly at Griffin Middle School in Tallahassee, Simmons revealed that he was not far from two teenagers that were shot at the fair last month.
“To see young people fighting for their lives, and there is nothing that you can do for them it really put a lot on you as an individual,” said Simmons. At that moment, I tried to figure out what we can do as community leaders to help. [Gun Violence] is happening far too often”.
“To show our youth there is a better option than to take lives,” said Simmons. “The experience of seeing young men take their last breaths is an experience that I will remember the rest of my life”.
Chris Jerry, a native of Tallahassee since 2008, expressed his gratitude for Simmons’ leadership. Jerry admires the steps that Simmons has taken.
“It’s good that he has gone out into the community helping young individuals that just want a chance to grow up in a safe environment,” said Jerry.
Zoron Wade, a native of Monticello, Florida commended the actions that Simmons is taking to improve the community. Wade finds Simmons’ work inspirational.
“Simmons is laying a good foundation for the community to follow in his footsteps. Ultimately, he sets the example for the team to do the same in their communities back home.