Sister of beating victim Derrion Albert speaks out for first tim - FOX 10 News |

Sister of beating victim Derrion Albert speaks out for first time

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Rhaea Albert is the little sister of Derrion, the victim of a deadly beating near Chicago's Fenger High School. Now, for the first time since her brother's death, Rhaea is speaking out exclusively to FOX 32, and has plans to give her voice a bigger audience.

"I don't wanna walk home from school, and it's just a big brawl and I get involved in it," Rhaea says. "I'm about to be the same age my brother was when he died, and I don't wanna be the next one."

The brawl that took her brother's life would have been just another violent incident in Chicago, but after the videotape was broadcast, the brutal images, witnesses to the tragedy and a family's unimaginable grief went viral. Rhaea, who was very close with her brother, was just 10 years old.

"We are very private people," Derrion's mother, Anjanette Albert, explains. "We don't have a lot of friends, we don't keep a lot of people around us, and it's hard to get her to open up."

Anjanette Albert made sure her daughter found a high school -- The Young Women's Leadership Academy -- that has a very different culture than her slain son battled at Fenger.

Derrion Albert was an honor roll student at Fenger High School and he was picked on for it.

Former teacher Jessica Disu, who is an organizer in the Youth Peace Movement, says it's time to re-focus the power of peer pressure. Teens are probably intrigued by her status in the world of underground rappers, where she is known as "FM Supreme."

"We have to change the narrative and the perspective of our young people, and I think it's gonna take these young people to do it," Disu tells FOX 32. "They need more mentors, they need more people who are willing to commit a day or two a month, or maybe more than that, to actually listen."

Rhaea Albert is naturally shy, but she's opened up with the help of "FM Supreme" and another mentor, Cassandra Murff, who graduated from the infamous Harper High.

"Nobody else goes through what we go through as young teens growing up in Englewood," says Murff. "A lot of the other students outside of our community, they don't go through that."

Cassandra, a student at DePaul who still mentors girls at Harper, will join "FM Supreme" and others in leading a town hall meeting this Saturday on youth violence where young leaders are aiming to change young minds.

Rhaea Albert will take the stage for the first time at the conference, now that she's old enough to see the bigger picture of the crisis that's killing young people. Her loss just happened to be captured on videotape.

"I didn't have to see it, but I didn't want it to be hidden from me. I wanted to know what happened," she says of her brother's death. "It wasn't the best feeling in the world. I'm gonna turn my pain into power because my brother wouldn't want me to sit around and just be sad all the time."


The Transforming Pain Into Power: National Panel + Youth Townhall on Violence takes place on Saturday, November 23, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

For more information and to register for the event, click here.

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