Crime & Justice

Summer gang reduction program hires at-risk kids

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To help keep kids out of trouble this summer, the city of Los Angeles will keep some of its parks and recreation centers open until midnight. The city’s hired 160 young people to help run the program.

Some of them, like 18-year-old Alex Paredes, are looking to make changes in their own lives.

Alex Paredes: "I have a family now, a son that will one day look up to me. And I want him to. So I think that this is a good opportunity to go the right way. I'll be working with the youth - you know, all kinds of activities - football, soccer, basketball, baseball.  We're going to have dance, we're going to have free food every day.  So we are inviting everybody in our community to come out to our park."

The city’s hired Paredes to work with kids at Sepulveda Park in the San Fernando Valley. It’s the second year of the program. A million dollars in private donations has helped expand it to 16 city parks and recreation centers.