Youth Ambassadors releases controversial videos to draw attention to issues kids face

Posted at 9:19 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-23 23:10:35-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — At first glance, you may think these videos are made for kids, but Youth Ambassadors in Kansas City says they're anything but.

VML created the videos for Youth Ambassadors which executive director Paige O'Connor explained is, "A strength-based employment program for underserved teenagers in the Kansas City area,"

The videos are part of a new campaign, using words directly from the kids in the program, designed to be an advocacy tool.

O'Connor said, "One was if you're hungry and there's no food in the house. One was how to survive a drive-by shooting and then the third was how to recognize the signs of an overdose and when and when not to call an ambulance. They make you feel uncomfortable but they're not half as uncomfortable as having to learn those lessons."

At six years old, Josie Hoskins said, "My mom told me how to spot an overdose."

Sadly, Hoskins told 41 Action News, "I didn't tell that story because it was something special because there are billions of stories like that. I told the story because I had a project due."

Youth Ambassadors hopes to reach people throughout the Kansas City area and beyond, to implore people to, "Take your blinders off. These are our neighbors and they're our youth and they need our help," O'Connor said. "I understand why they're controversial. I understand why they make people feel uncomfortable but let's continue the conversation."

Hoskins added, "I hope it makes them squirm. I hope that they can't sit still and it's not because I want them to feel bad. I want them to be made uncomfortable and I want that to inspire change."

Youth Ambassadors started in Kansas City in 2010. The organization hires up to 350 kids per year. To learn more, click here.