"We see so much of this in the streets, and we knew what we were dealing with out here, and we just thought that we were doing everything to protect him and get him to college," Annette says. "We had dreams and plans and they're all just gone. That was our only child."
As parents, Annette says she and Ronald tried to do all the right things. "We went to movies together. Even as a teenager, I would take him to parties. I would pick him up. I would meet the parents. I didn't trust the streets to raise my child."
Annette says parents need to realize that violence can touch anyone—and it's everyone's responsibility to change things. "Everyone owns a part in it, not just African-Americans and Hispanics. All of us. Because it could be any of your children, any of your nieces, nephews, any of your parents. It could be you," she says. "If we all don't step up to the plate and do something, we're all going to be living in a world that we're afraid to go out and just do anything in life. We're going to be shut inside."