Some of the members of Hood2Good, a youth-run organization committed to curbing violence in Annapolis, hosted a Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday to celebrate Bosley’s life.
The program was started by some of Bosley’s best friends: Jamie Artero-Velasquez, Tyree Johnson, Herschel Carter and Kaitlyn Parker.
“Instead of doing something negative behind it, why not do something positive,” said Carter, 17. The Hood2Good kids have spent the past year organizing cookouts, rallying at the March for Our Lives protest in Annapolis and speaking in front of local politicians.
Carter said the organization has exposed him to opportunities he would not have otherwise known about.
“They don’t even have Career Day at school anymore,” he said. “A lot of people say they don’t have options, but there are.”
Carter is from Eastport, an area he says is wracked by violence and drug addiction.
“When you have a house full of addiction or a father that’s not there, or brothers or sisters that are influenced by the streets, kids don’t look at being a kid as being fun anymore,” Carter said. “Before, I was just a mean person. Not mean on purpose, but because I was mad at the stuff going on around me.”
Kids like Carter go overlooked in Annapolis, but Hood2Good aims to make them seen. There are currently eight Hood2Good members and four adult mentors. They’re looking to expand, said Alan Watson, a Hood2Good advisor.
Most of the students are from Phoenix Academy and a few attend Annapolis High School.
“It’s each one, teach one and each one, reach one,” Watson said. “We’re in the community and we’re going to stay in the community.”
Over the last year, Watson said the Hood2Good students have partnered with local organizations to give back to the Annapolis area. Hood2Good on Saturday hosted a coat drive.
While the students have taken ownership of the organization, advisors help them secure scholarships and summer jobs, and provide mentorship that is sometimes missing from their communities.
“What I want to see is just to see a better neighborhood and better conditions,” said Artero-Velasquez, 18. He graduated last spring from Phoenix Academy and is working.
The Hood2Good organizers admit scheduling conflicts make it difficult to plan weekly meetings and regular events — especially now that some members have graduated.
But they remain committed to the mission of honoring their best friend and combatting violence in Annapolis, a place where crime is rarely discussed.
“It’s because the vast percentage of homicides and crime happen within public housing communities that’s isolated. It makes it easy to feel like, it’s not in our backyard,” said Kerry Mueller, a social worker at Phoenix Academy and Hood2Good advisor. “It shouldn’t have to take it coming to our backyard to reach out and support the people who have less resources.”
Carter and his mentors consider Hood2Good, even in its infancy, a success. No young people have been murdered since Bosley’s death.
“They’re becoming role models and speaking to young kids about not going down that negative path,” Watson said.