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Former Tulane medical student Peter Gold isn’t done being a hero

April 11, 2017 9:30 AM


Keith Brannon

Dr. Peter Gold (Tulane '12, Tulane Med '16) is transforming personal tragedy to help others. He and six Tulane alumni are launching Strong City, a new way for cities to share resources and empower underserved youth. The nonprofit foundation aims to help end cycles of violence within communities, starting with New Orleans.


He was the good Samaritan who captured the world’s attention when he was shot rescuing a woman he had never met as she was being assaulted on a darkened street corner in November 2015.

The incident, which was filmed by a security camera, made Tulane medical student Peter Gold an international hero.

Now graduated and fully recovered, Dr. Gold, 27, has launched a foundation with six of his closest friends from Tulane to help end cycles of violence within communities, starting with New Orleans. Their nonprofit Strong City foundation supports community-based organizations that empower underserved youth. Their goal — through money, time, and building a network of skilled professionals — is to provide these organizations the resources they need to help kids reach their full potential.

“We're ready to grow our city and have as many people become residents as possible.”

Dr. Peter Gold

“I want to change the conversation from, ‘Hey are you doing OK, Peter?’ to ‘Yeah, I’m OK, who else needs help?’ How can we all come together and help out others?” Gold said. “I have an audience and I really want to connect this audience of people with some of these groups who are working so hard every day to make positive change.”

Strong City’s first community partner is the New Orleans-based Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), which engages underserved young people through community-based education, mentoring and employment readiness programs to help them develop their skills and strengthen their ties to family and community.

 “Through the creation of Strong City, Peter is showing us all that by coming together to support community-based organizations working with underserved youth that we can address underlying causes of violence in our communities and make our make cities healthier, safer and stronger for everyone,” said Melissa Sawyer, YEP executive director and cofounder.

The idea for Strong City came about while Gold was in the hospital in recovery thinking about what happened the night he was shot and what events in life lead people to violence. 

“This is a large systemic problem across our country where every single day you’re turning on the news and you see another shooting or another crime. And it starts to get to a point where people become numb to it. That can’t happen. And being somebody affected by one of these kind of shootings, I can’t let that happen,” Gold said. “We don’t have the perfect solution, but we do know that if we bring as many people together who want to do something then maybe we can start that change.”

Gold shared his story with Matt Lauer on the TODAY show in a live interview April 11. For more information about Strong City, visit https://www.mystrongcity.org.