CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- On Wednesday, students at Charlottesville High School gathered for the first meeting of the new Elevate program, which is focused on student opinions and concerns.

The student-led discussion at this meeting focused on the Black youth experience in Charlottesville.

CHS Principal Rashaad Pitt said gun violence in the community this year has affected his students' mental health, and this monthly program is meant to help.

He said it's all about being present and supportive of his students while they voice their concerns.

CHS senior Jaesaun Johnson said his goal for this Elevate session is to help Black youth succeed.

"Some type of system where we can get our Black youth more tutoring programs and more programs to build bonds within each other," he said. "So, that way, we're not having as many dramas and so much negativity in our community, and more getting ready for that upper-level education."

Johnson said when he comes to visit next year, he hopes to see more Black students in honors and Advanced Placement classes.