Low-income, inner-city youth, like the 300,000 living in Los Angeles’ gang “hot zones,” are at the greatest risk. According to research, 90 percent of these children and teens have been victims or witnesses of felony-level violence. Their scars run deep. A fifth of youth living in these areas suffer from clinical depression and one third have PTSD. In addition, chronic stress from growing up in a violent neighborhood, home or both produces elevated levels of certain chemicals and hormones that are believed to impair brain development in children. Specifically, the areas of the brain impacted are those responsible for learning, memory, concentration and regulating emotions and actions.