In memory of Shirkey Warthen

Last night, Shirkey Warthen was murdered in Kingsessing while attempting to peacefully settle an argument between two people. Warthen was a young man that dedicated his life as a youth mentor to help stop the violence that is plaguing our community.

I didn't know Shirkey, but I wish I had. At only 22, Warthen accomplished many things in his lifetime; things that we should all strive to emulate. 

Warthen worked with "Juveniles for Justice", a Juvenile Law Center advocacy program, where according to Metro Philly, he had been recently nominated for the 2012 Coalition for Juvenile Justice's Spirit of Youth Award. His collegues described him as one of their "most passionate and dedicated" members. 

Shirkey joined Juveniles for Justice to advocate on behalf of reform after spending two years in placement at a youth criminal facility . He appeared before the U.S. Senate with the Juvenile Law Center to urge them to pass the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. He met with congressional staffers and policymakers to promote the Act as well.

Overall, Shirkey was a leader within his community who helped his peers any way he could.

Warthen is a role model. It is important for us to honor his memory and use this moment to work even harder to make our communities safer.

There have been 104 homicides in Philadelphia in 2012 to date. It's time to stop the violence.

(Image courtesy of Juvenile Law Center)

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Posted In: Child Welfare

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