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BasketSoul is a Game Changer for Milwaukee

According to data from the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), Milwaukee’s homicide rate has increased three years in a row to an all-time high of 214 in 2022.

The department recognizes the need to reduce violence in the city and has recently released its 2023 Violent Crime Plan, “A strategy to address violent crime in Milwaukee which consist of crimes that include victims of homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and human trafficking.”

While today’s youth may not be involved in all of these violent crimes,

Milwaukee’s ABC 12 has reported that MPD data shows that in 2022 they arrested youth, ages 16 and under, 409 times for auto thefts and 76 times for armed robbery.

In addition, data from children’s court states 585 cases in 2021 were related to stolen cars, and in 2020 there were 266 cases.

What is the root cause?

The root cause for the high level of youth involvement in Milwaukee’s violent crimes is not easy to pin down. Everyone has an opinion, and fingers are often pointed at gang involvement and a lack of activities to keep kids off the street. Others are concerned about the cycle of intergenerational criminal behavior.

The National Institute of Justice, in an article on the impact of parental incarceration on dependent children, said, “Children whose parents are involved in the criminal justice system face many challenges and difficulties: psychological strain, antisocial behavior, suspension or expulsion from school, economic hardship, and criminal activity.”

They went on to explain that one study indicated that “children of incarcerated parents are, on average, six times more likely to become incarcerated themselves.” Even more, they said that children with incarcerated mothers had much higher rates of becoming incarcerated earlier and more frequently than those whose fathers were incarcerated.

Breaking the Cycle of Trauma

No matter how youth violence is manifested, Ricardo Trinidad understands where it comes from. It’s the result of trauma that can come from generational poverty, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse, alcohol and drug abuse by a family member, violence and crimes that they experience firsthand, abandonment, incarceration of one or both parents, hunger, or being ignored.

Ricardo is committed to helping today’s troubled youth in Milwaukee heal through a new program called BasketSoul. However, the foundation of this program and his mission to help youth, go back to his childhood.

He knows firsthand the struggles they face, the disadvantages they must overcome, and their fears about the future. Ricardo also knows how crucial it is to have someone who believes in you until you can believe in yourself.

Ricardo has a heart for this younger generation, and he wants more for them than they can dream of–yet. Over the years, he has had unique opportunities to mentor young people and make a difference in their lives.

Today, he has developed a program that will help many more children in profound ways. BasketSoul will use tools for transformation and a variety of proven healing modalities in addition to the creative movement of basketball.

The tools follow the game with timeouts, offense, defense, substitutions, and practice. As part of this, they will be taught the healing modalities of meditation, breathwork, energy healing, emotional freedom tapping, yoga, learning self-love, and discovering self-building group exercises.

The BasketSoul program, an after-school youth trauma healing camp, is for students in 3rd through 8th grades. BasketSoul starts from the energy of love. Everything that comes from our staff is with the understanding that love and self-love are the basis of all healing. This is the most essential energy and the key to our success. Everyone recognizes authentic love and responds to it.

At BasketSoul, we believe that by teaching students how to cope with their feelings through a known and loved sport, we can start to change these statistics and the outlook of our youth’s future.