As part of my new blog series, I’m asking college students to write about the issues that bother them most. My guest blogger, Tray Boyd, offers a personal and honest look at his hometown of Memphis and what it was like growing up there. Here’s what he has to say:

I was born in Memphis, Tennessee—a city ranked third  in the United States for domestic violence, first in overall crime in the United States, and first in the south for overall crime. Growing up, I saw gangs take over the streets, starting with kids in middle school. Teenagers would try to throw parties, but the divisions of gangs would just ruin them. What can fix Memphis?  What does Memphis need?

beale-st-742923__180To begin, I would target the most popular place in Memphis, which is downtown Beale Street. It’s the heart of Memphis music and entertainment and the perfect place to offer safe and fun activities to keep teens out of trouble. By offering safe activities downtown, such as indoor roller coasters or waterparks, Memphis can target the next generation. It starts with our mayor. He should focus on ways to improve the next generation of children and make Memphis a better, safer place. memphis-670810__180

And, it starts with us, voicing our concerns and ideas.I know improving Memphis isn’t going to happen overnight, but we need to come together for future generations.