(NECN: John Moroney, Boston) - Violent Crime is still one of the biggest problems facing Boston and cities all over the nation.
At the Jeremiah Burke High School, hundreds of young people came together on Saturday to help find a solution.
Rodney Henry says he's turned his life around and now he's trying to help others do the same thing through Boston's Center for Teen Empowerment.
Teen Empowerment's 20th annual Youth Peace Conference brought together hundreds of teenagers - all of them looking to make their neighborhoods and the entire city safer through positive change.
More than 40 original performances provided youngsters with messages of hope.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino spoke to the group, telling the them they play an important role in eliminating violent crime.
"They could really help solve our problem," said Menino. "That's what we're asking them to do. Part of the solution. Asking them to reach to some other kids in the neighborhood to help us solve some of these crimes."
The fight against crime is a constant struggle. The current number of homicides in Boston is double the number from a year ago. Much of the city's violence can be attributed to young people, which is why their assistance is key.
"They're very amiable to working with us," said Police Commissioner Ed Davis. "These kids have been tremendous. We open the door up and the come through it."
Conferences like this one help young people understand choices, good and bad. Seventeen-year-old Amy Tamakloe says teenagers need to understand they can make their own destiny.
"You don't need to follow everybody," she said. "You should make the right decisions in your life because that will keep you on the right track."