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Gun violence leads to death of teen who recently graduated | #schoolsaftey


SAN ANTONIO – A violent weekend across San Antonio led to the death of a teen who just graduated from the George Gervin Academy.

Geremiah Hardeman, 18, died in a shooting on Saturday in the 1500 block of Upland Road on the East Side. San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said there was an exchange of gunfire between two groups because of a targeted attack, but Hardeman was not the intended victim. Two other people involved in the shooting were struck and taken to the hospital in critical condition.

It was also the latest incident of gun violence among teens. Nathan Hawkins, superintendent at Gervin Academy, said the staff is heartbroken to hear about the death of their former student, who graduated on May 27.

“Our community is saddened by the loss of Geremiah, and we understand that the system in place that allowed this to happen is still happening today,” said Nathan Hawkins.

Barbara Hawkins, special projects coordinator at Gervin Academy, said, “It is so difficult because when you prepare them for the workforce, and you prepare them for life, and something like this happens, it’s very devastating.”

The Gervin Academy has preached to its students about gun violence and staying engaged in the community, which can be harder when they are out of school.

“It’s about getting these students engaged, active, making sure they feel a sense of belonging to the community to our school and making sure they’re active, making sure that we provide opportunities,” said Nathan Hawkins.

“It’s important that we provide that guidance, that nurturing and that direction that they need,” said Barbara Hawkins. “If you think of San Antonio also, we’re always No. 1 or 2 in the nation in teen pregnancy rate and then dropout rate. We’ve got to focus on this population a little bit more. Our young people must be engaged, be it through jobs, be through training, be through other positive activity.”

At the Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio, a similar push exists to help keep young teens off the streets during the summer.

“Summer programming that’s affordable is critical for families in San Antonio. The median household income for the families that we serve is $31,000 a year,” said Ada Saenz, CEO of Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio. “When school is out, you no longer have a safe, free place for your children to be every single day. But you have to be at work still every day. It’s just a critical time for kids to be, you know, unsupervised, to be left at home, to kind of do what they want to do with their day. And so families really rely on affordable programming in the community.”

Saenz said many of these younger adults are trying to find their way, and organizations like the Boys and Girls Club and the Gervin Youth Center are there to help. The club has multiple summer programs ranging from resiliency to sports to mental health, while the Gervin Academy has more than 200 students from all over the area enrolled in summer school.

“Kids want positive relationships in their life. They want to know that they matter to somebody else. If there’s not a positive mentor or a positive adult in their life, then they’re going to find it in somebody who’s not that positive for them,” said Saenz. “It’s critical that you get your teens involved in a safe place where you know where they’re going to be safe, where they’re going to be nurtured, and where you know that you can rely on them to be a positive influence.”

“We had high hopes for Geremiah. He was set up for an interview this Thursday to go to Goodwill to do a CDL. He wanted to graduate. He was a previous dropout from Judson. He wanted to graduate with a traditional high school diploma to make his mom proud,” said Barbara Hawkins. “We had high hopes for him, but he got caught up in those streets.”

Copyright 2023 by KSAT – All rights reserved.



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