By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Michael Nutter just appointed a new Executive Director for the Philadelphia Youth Commission, and the former coordinator for the National Peace Alliance has a story that is inspiring.
“Both of my parents, mother and father, spent more time behind bars than at home,” Jamira Burley says.
Born and raised in some of the toughest, deadliest neighborhoods in Philadelphia, 23-year-old Burley has dedicated her life to combating youth violence.
“I am one of 16 children. I have 10 older brothers, and I have five younger brothers and sisters. As the death by violence rate grew with me, I watched all 10 of my older brothers get incarcerated for short or long periods of time.”
Burley life started out a little uncertain, but when her 20-year-old brother Andre was murdered in 2005, she began to speak out about violence, forming the Panther Peace Core at Overbrook High School when she was just 16. Since then, the 2012 Temple graduate has become a powerful advocate for young people.
“When you get young people involved at an early age, it allows for them to continue to stay involved for a lifetime.”