It's been nearly three years since a 19 year old James Gillette was killed outside the Belair Conference Center. The incident happened while the victim was working at a sweet 16 party. Johndrick Barnes is serving 5 years in prison and 2 years probation after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter earlier this year.
Now, Gillette's family has found a way to turn their tragedy into a tool to stop crime in the CSRA.
She's called " The General" and works as a paraprofessional at Diamond Lakes Elementary school. For nearly three years, Annettea Mills has been forming an army of volunteers to mount a war on crime in the CSRA. They're doing it through a group called "CSRA Saving our Students." Mills explains, "we want to start a full fledge mentoring program. We've just got so many ideas. We've got so many excellent people on our team. We have grown so much."
She started the program after her nephew was killed outside the BelAir Conference Center in March of 2011. Now, the program hosts events like this haunted house for Halloween that include anti-bullying messages. They are messages that Mills says are part of a bigger mission. "We're trying to open up the first annual bullying academy in Richmond County. We're not too far away. If we could get a few Christmas angels to come through for us," Mills says.
Mills explains the group is a few hundred dollars short of the money needed to gain it's "incorporation" status. Once completed, the General and her organization can apply for grants and provide bigger, better arsenal of programs to continue its war on crime. "We are getting ready to do latch key kids next month. We're going to pull in the YMCA. We're going to pull in Primetime. We're going to have all these organizations at our parent's hands so they can come and see that these children don't have to go home and be alone," Mills adds.
To contribute to the program, contact Annettea Mills at Millsshane6@Gmail.com
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