On behalf of everyone at The Child Center of NY, I want to express my profound sadness
and sympathy on the deaths of Youssef Soliman and Trevor “Bubba” Rhudd — both of
whom were killed needlessly and taken from us much too soon.
Both boys were known to us as local youth who come in to play or hang out at our Community
Centers. We aspired to be a safe place for these boys, and for all the youth of the
community — a place where they could explore their strengths, make friends, and believe
in and work toward a future defined by endless possibilities. When this type of trauma
emerges, those of us living in day-to-day service of the youth and families are all left in
pain and sorrow, trying to make sense of it. It is impossible not to wonder what we could’ve
done differently or more to attract youth away from the evils that exist in our community.
What we can do going forward is renew our commitment to the children who need a safe
and positive place more than ever.
The staff of The Child Center, who are living and feeling the great stress and sorrow of
these senseless murders, know that what is happening is unacceptable. All layers of the
organization, from our CEO to our staff on the frontlines in the Rockaways, are searching for
ways to end the war on the streets. We call out to all who wish to join us in this fight to win
back the streets and minds of the young brothers and sisters in the Rockaways.
There is promise in all of our youth, and both were just starting to find themselves. At our
Centers, staff are willing to listen and explore all options to ending this violence. We invite
anyone with ideas or the desire to join us in an effort to end this violence to reach out to
To the families of these young boys, we send our deepest sympathies. While we know
that nothing can ease the grief you are feeling, we hope you can take some comfort in
your good memories of your sons, and in the knowledge that so many people cared about
them and will miss them, and hopefully will go on to do good in their memory.