This year alone, there have reportedly been over 250 homicides in Chicago, and with schools closed for the summer, many youths are susceptible to violence. According to Essence, Chicago-born rapper Vic Mensa is now targeting these kids.

Through his SaveMoneySaveLife organization, the Roc Nation artist plans to train 11,000 students to be street medics.

“We train and equip first aid responders in Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods,” Mensa says of the program. “And teach them how to not bleed out, how to stop blood flow from gunshot wounds.”

Vic spoke to ESSENCE about his plan, noting that he got the idea from a visit to the West Bank.

“I was in the occupied West Bank in Palestine and I met a young man from Gaza who was from an organization called Build Palestine,” Mensa explains. “[They] had a similar program where they trained 35 first aid responders, I think it was in Gaza.”

Mensa described Gaza as a “city under siege” and noted the similarities to Chicago.

“Their ambulance situation and first response situation is actually a lot like Chicago,” Mensa says. “Like the ambulances take a long time, might not come, might not be anywhere good to get treated, and it’s a war zone.”

The 26-year-old recently collaborated with Wolverine for a shoe collection, with proceeds from the sales going to the nonprofit he started to aid underprivileged youth in his hometown.


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