A New Jersey company taking an innovative step. They're buying back guns, melting them down and turning them into jewelry giving a local teen a chance at a brighter future.
A company fighting gun violence in Newark, New Jersey has now raised enough money to help a local teenager go to school in a safer neighborhood. He has seen first-hand just how dangerous the city can be.
In fact his mother asked that we blur his face and obscure his voice to hide his identity so he doesn't become a target.
"I gotta start coming up with habits now and making sure I have a road to college," he said.
A 14-year old now has dreams of a brighter future after witnessing triple- murder just steps from his front door. It happened on Christmas night.
Cops say the victims and the gunman were also teenagers.
"When I get older and my mother can't take care of herself I want her to be in a better environment not worrying about locking doors and setting alarms."
Now this young man says he's ready to work toward that goal at a prestigious high school just outside Newark Seton Hall Prep. He'll be a freshman there this fall after a businesswoman gave him a scholarship.
"Being able to offer education in a venue that's right for child who was accepted on his own merit and provide him with role models and guidance and SAT prep and sports teams and all these things I know is giving him a bigger chance to break the cycle of gun violence in his own life. To be able to offer that to this child in some way in some minor way is awesome," said Mayor Luis Quintana.
Jessica Mindich runs Jewelry For A Cause, which takes guns from the streets of Newark and melts them down to create bracelets stamped with the serial numbers of the guns from which they came.
Mindich has funded two gun buybacks for the Newark Police Department. The most recent event was just last month. Our cameras were there as folks arrived with weapons and left with gift cards for up to $250.
"Every day when you hear shootings and the blackberry comes and says shooting two males were shot a young girl was shot a young man was shot a homicide because of a gun and then we have to go to a funeral for a young man or a young lady. We have to make sure that we safeguard and safeguard for the citizens of Newark," said Quitana.
Citizens like that young man and his mother.
"I think it's really just making the streets safer for kids like me they won't have to worry about getting shot or being out late and so they just make it a safer environment," the teen said.
For now the teen says he's trying to stay focused and as far as college goes. He says the sky is the limit.
"I know Princeton's in New Jersey that's a really good college, so why not?,"he said.
The teenager says he tries to set a good example for other students by following a simple piece of advice from his teachers: make smart ... look cool.