Family Of Adam Toledo Announces Plans For Adam's Place, A Rural Escape For At-Risk Youth

CBS 2’s Tara Molina spoke with Adam Toledo's family about a rural retreat that could be a lifeline for other kids like him.

Video Transcript

- And Jim, today would have been Adam Toledo's 14th birthday. CBS 2's Tara Molina spoke to his family about what could be a lifeline for other kids like Adam. Tara?

TARA MOLINA: Brad, a lifeline for kids here in Chicago. We talked to the family about what's being formed, this brand new non-profit called Adam's Place, meant to give at risk kids, like Adam was, a new experience, a rural escape.

ADEENA WEISS ORTIZ: This family wants something good to come out of this horrific event--

TARA MOLINA: Adam's place.

ADEENA WEISS ORTIZ: --which is directed to solely helping other families like theirs give the youth of Chicago an alternate lifestyle to city life.

TARA MOLINA: The Toledo family with their attorneys announced the plans for the nonprofit in front of the brand new mural honoring the 13-year-old who would have turned 14 today. His mother couldn't bring herself to read her prepared statement.

ADEENA WEISS ORTIZ: But we can try to help other families protect their sons from the temptations that took Adam into the street that night.

TARA MOLINA: But her daughter, Adam's sister, spoke out for the first time.

ESMERALDA TOLEDO: And he deserved the chance to make mistakes and learn from them.

TARA MOLINA: Still in the earliest stages, the model for Adam's Place, 777 miles from here, the Boys Farm in Newberry, South Carolina.

MICHAEL DAVIS: I think Adam would have loved it here.

TARA MOLINA: Michael Davis is their executive director.

MICHAEL DAVIS: Our motto is, building boys rather than mending men.

TARA MOLINA: We talked to virtually to get an idea of what their private program, running more than 60 years now, is all about.

MICHAEL DAVIS: We're all about helping children just be able to have a second chance in life. Really, what we're trying to do is keep them out of the juvenile system.

TARA MOLINA: This land about three hours from Chicago in Potosi, Wisconsin is under contract right now. The goal is to break ground on Adam's Place this fall and fully open next summer. The plan, to host eight boys, most from this area, to start, a smaller scale than Boys Farm but with the same mission.

MICHAEL DAVIS: For something positive to come out of this is what I am pushing for.

TARA MOLINA: The same goal in mind.

JOEL HIRSCHHORN: Never again will there be a tragedy like Adam Toledo.

TARA MOLINA: Again, this is still in the very early stages here today. They're still in the process of fundraising and becoming an official non-profit. But we are told that even though this will be held in Wisconsin, They are committed to connecting with organizations local to Chicago and helping boys from Chicago, boys like Adam. You can read more about this in our web story. It's up there right now. Reporting live in Lawndale, I'm Tara Molina, CBS 2 News.