PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Growing up near Erie Avenue in Philadelphia, Rahdeem Abdullah knows that violence is not new in the community.
However, he's recently noticed things getting much worse and involving much younger people.
"I see that it's increasing, specifically with children at an early age," said Abdullah, a Philadelphia native who works to provide emotional support for children.
Abdullah is one of the community members volunteering their time for a new program focused on boys ages 11 to 15.
"(Kids in that age group) actually seem to become more susceptible to being involved in some type of violence, particularly with guns," said Steven Pickens.
Pickens worked with his friend Mazzie Casher to create a new program known as Safe City Boys.
The program begins with a Safe City Summit on May 8. Following that kickoff, there will be a six-week program focused on two dozen boys who are selected for the program.
They'll receive mentoring, conflict resolution training, financial literacy lessons, creative art lessons, and more.
Pickens hopes that, by training teens to become part of the anti-gun violence mission, they can help prevent shootings.
The 6abc Data Team found that so far this year in Philadelphia, there have been 43 shootings involving youth as either the victim or the perpetrator.
There have been 1,136 youth-involved shootings in Philadelphia since 2014.
Serita Lewis will volunteer her time and expertise to teach the boys conflict resolution strategies.
The hope is that the Safe City Boys will become peer counselors at their schools.
"If you have somebody in your same age group saying, 'I'm not doing that either,' then peer pressure looks in the other direction," she said.
"When you got a chance to make impressions on young people, take it," said Robin White, who is also a volunteer with the program.
As a licensed financial professional, Crystal Evans, who owns the nonprofit Money Talks Edu, knows the lure of fast money is often what gets young men in trouble.
That's why she's set to equip them with the expertise of knowing how to secure a solid financial future.
"How to get to the money legally, and do it smart," she said. "They get to talk to a professional. They get exposure to licensed professionals so they get the right guidance."
The Safe City Boys will also get paid to work with Philly Truce this summer.
"We're going to give them experience in peace patrol, community gardening," said Casher.
Abdullah hopes the first-time program will lead to positive changes for the city and its kids.
"Our kids can make it," he said. "We just got to be there for them."
To apply for the Safe City Boys program or to volunteer as a mentor for the program click here or call 267-458-7823.