Grief Camp helps local students cope with loss

Posted at 6:16 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 19:20:44-04

Some Middle Tennessee students are coming together this weekend to cope with the loss of loved ones. 

Sandrae Smith, 16, lost his older brother, Spencer Beasley, to gun violence in 2013.

"He pushed me a lot. He wanted me to play football but I got injured. That brought me down because I wanted to do it for him," Smith said.

The Pearl Cohn High School junior said since his brother's death, it has been difficult to try and focus in school.

That is why this weekend, Smith and some classmates will attend a grief camp in La Vergne focused on helping to cope with the loss of a loved one.

The trip is being put together by the grassroots group Gideon's Army. The group works with inner city youth affected by violence. 

Youth Outreach Coordinator for Gideon's Army, Jamel Gooch said students deal with grief in many ways. There are about 8 students from Pearl Cohn willing to go.

"I hope these young people learn to turn that loss into something resilient. I hope they retain that information, pieces of the information and they’re able take it, repackage it and apply it to their lives in whatever special situation that they have," Gooch said.

After the 3-day camp, students will return and debrief.

"We usually have the largest group of students since we are an inner-city school and so those students usually go out there for those three days, they come back and they have a community amongst themselves as well," Gooch said.

Smith said his brother was his role model and he wants to make him proud.

"If I got a problem I look up and say 'what would you do bro?' and it just pushes me, motivates me,"
Smith said.

For more information about Gideon's Army, click here.