Hoops On Mission determined to end youth violence in Fort Myers

Community leaders are sharing their concerns after a series of shootings killed for people and hurt four others. Now, the founder of Hoops On Mission is reaching out in hope the bloodshed will stop.

Fort Myers native Dwayne Jackson, founder of Hoops On Mission, is responding to the recent local shootings.

“It’s not easy growing up here,” Jackson said.

For the past four years, Jackson has dedicated his life to his 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The mission to get kids in the community involved by getting them off the street and onto the basketball court.

“If I don’t do it, who’s going to do it?” Jackson said. “This is where I’m from. I feel like you got to go back to your roots.”

Jackson said fulfilling his mission’s goals has been challenging.

“Last four years, I’ve known like 15 kids who have gotten murdered, who came in our doors, so it hurts,” Jackson said.

Jackson’s thoughts and prayers go out to the families of recent victims to local gun violence.

“To hear moms losing their kids — kids, young kids dying — it’s heartbreaking,” Jackson said.  

While police continue to investigate four homicides, Jackson is asking the community to come together.

“We got to go in the trenches, get to know people and do life with people, and rub shoulders with people, and that’s when the change is going to start to happen,” Jackson said.

Reporter:Taylor Petras
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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