New Orleans, La. – Bon Jovi sat with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and other officials with young people representing programs designed to help them get through tough circumstances. Several stories at the meeting held at Caf Reconcile involved drugs and crime. Bon Jovi said afterwards that their troubles can be lifted with a group effort.
"Engagement in their community is why I'm here, why we're here on behalf of the White House Council on Community Solutions because community is what has made this city be great and unique and why New Orleans is back on its feet, because its community believed in itself and we want to duplicate that around the nation."
He praised Caf Reconcile's job training program, saying a similar enterprise he runs in New Jersey has been a success.
"Opportunities are fewer and far between no matter who you are. These days it's not easy for disenfranchise or disconnected youth to gain employment or opportunity."
One of the young people participating in the roundtable was Jalicie (jah-LEE'-see-eh NOH-ten), who says it's important that youth know they have a voice that's heard.
"If people stop judging and show that they care and reach out, I think New Orleans, or the United States where they're having youth problems, it will be a better place if people just stop judging and just reach out to the young people that's having problems."
The White House Council's listening tour continues with stops planned in Atlanta, Houston and New York City.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming