Life and Loyalty

Who are you loyal to? This is the question the Life & Loyalty program asks.

Life and Loyalty

“Life & Loyalty” is a day long violence prevention workshop aimed towards at-risk youth in the Boston area led jointly by Boston EMS and The Boston Police Department in collaboration with Youth Opportunity Boston.

The workshop is a day long course consisting of a presentation followed by a certified First Aid and CPR course in which the youth are shown not only the results and consequences of violence, but also how to break the cycle and become a counteractive force to violence.

It is meant to develop understanding of how to be reactive, proactive and interactive within the community and instill a sense of the value of life and self respect among area youth. It aims to remove the stigma that sees the youth as only part of the problem and helps them to view themselves as part of the solution.

Our hope is that the youth leave this workshop with a sense of empowerment and a newly defined concept of Loyalty: the importance of being loyal to yourself.

The course is now in it’s third year. In total, there have been over 360 youth who have gone through this program and become CPR certified. While that is an accomplishment in itself, the main successes that the leaders have seen go well beyond this certification. The youth build strong relationships not only with the public health and safety officials instructing them, but also with the other youth participants, some of whom have been in rival gangs. More importantly, the leaders see the personal transformation of the youth involved: becoming engaged with the knowledge to be valuable assets in the precious minutes between the onset of violent actions and the arrival of medical support.