High school senior Stephen Green was among the young men at 2009 Boys State who heard gang expert Steve Nawojczyk say that youth violence in Little Rock is again on the rise.
"That troubled me, because I'm here with 600 other young men and he's telling us of our past but saying that the violence is increasing and that we have this again in our future," recalls Green.
The comparison was to the high level of gang activity in the 90's, and Stephen was concerned.
"Stephen stood up and really didn't have a question, but he turned to the crowd of nearly a thousand young men and he implored them to please not only listen to what I said, but to go back to their communities and become an agent of change in their communities," Nawojczyk remembered.
Stephen has joined Nawojczyk and adult community and youth service leaders in developing a mentoring program for at-risk youth, including those released from youth detention facilities.
"He has a firm conviction to help with these mentoring relationships with kids who are at risk. Stephen Green is a model young man. He is one impressive young man," says Jeff Spry.
Stephen is a senior at Little Rock's Episcopal Collegiate High School, where he is preparing to attend college and prepare for a career in community service.
"Basically having a non-profit geared toward youth development, a place or a corporation where youth can be free to be who they are, a place where they won't have to worry about negative influences," Green says.
Stephen was recently selected as one of only 14 youth from around the nation to participate in the prestigious "Seven Days across America" program.
"I hope that I live long enough to see what Stephen Green becomes," says Nawojczyk.
Stephen is among the young Arkansans eligible for the 2010 Youth Humanitarian Award to be presented next July.