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INDIANAPOLIS — There is a program aiming to build the next generation of leaders in Marion County.

The 2022 Youth Violence Prevention Fellowship is offered to teens through the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, and applications are now open.

The fellowship allows teens to learn and examine policies and existing programs in place “to reduce youth involvement in the criminal justice system.” Fellows also have a seat at the table during public safety discussions.

The program is open to Marion County residents ages 14-18.

Sessions will be both in-person and virtual on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from July 12-28, 2022. This year, Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears is expecting the class to be between 15-20 students.

Since starting in 2019, the prosecutor’s office tells WRTV upwards of 50 teens have gone through the program.

“We’re building leaders in our community,” Mears said. “The best thing that this program does is it gives people the tools and skills that they need to be leaders in their schools, to be leaders in their extracurricular programs. The best way to keep people out of violence is to surround yourself with good friends and positive role models.”

Read more from WRTV here