RaSia Khepra

By: Giselle Orduno, Per. 6

Reaching Out to Stop Gun Violence

“If I can’t make changes in my community, I won’t make them globally.”

The Start...

Rasia Khepra is 18 years old, born in Chicago. Raised by Dr. Lance Khepra and Kandase Khepra, along with his 5 other siblings. Rasia was aware of the amount of violence there was in the community and one day finally decided that there was change needed.

What's important to him:

Finally Stepping up:

Although Rasia new about all the shootings there were in his community, he didn't decide to do anything about it until his friend Hadiya died from being shot by gang members. Him and some other teens from Chicago created an organization called "Project Orange Tree." The organization was created to spread awareness and try to stop gun violence from getting worse. The reason for wanting to stop it is because so many people are getting killed for no reasons and the shootings only get worse, so Rasia is worried that it might happen again to someone he knows. What Rasia does is, he goes to high schools as a public speaker and talks about the issue with Hadiya and how there are so many students who bring guns to school. Ever since Rasia and his friends went to high schools to talk about it, they have prevented a various amount of students all around the world to not take guns to school. Also, he has revolutionized 5 high schools and spoken about the issues in many communities. Project Orange Tree is still active today by doing food drives and other non violent things to help raise awareness about gang and gun violence in not only Chicago, but all around the world. Although he hasn't been recognized for his work, they do have the rapper Lupe Fiasco advertising the organization.

Worthy of being called a Hero?

Hero: A hero is a person who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, displays courage or self-sacrifice.

I believe that Rasia IS a hero... Why? Because he is actually doing his part in trying to stop gun violence. He has made an impact in many lives and hasn't given up, which is what a hero is all about. He is still motivated and believes that he is able to make a bigger impact all around the world and won't quit no matter what. Also, although he has only made an impact in only 5 schools, that is still encouragement to try and to the same with other schools.

Want To Get Involved Also!?

Project Orange Tree

An awareness campaign created by Chicago youth to inspire change and evoke action against gun violence and structural violence in Chicago. “We wear orange , because we don’t want to be shot ! We Fast with those who cannot eat, because they have died from gun violence.”