Video: Respect for Life: Reaching Out To Troubled Youth

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WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) — Club Rock, Columbus Fairgrounds, and now an apartment complex. So many times we see our youth involved in violent conflicts. From the sidelines, it appears there is virtually no respect for life.

“I used to go out clubbing. Smoking and everything. It’s easy to get in trouble, but it’s hard to get out,” said Banks.

Calvin Banks was headed down that path but decided to change his life.

“And one day, God just spoke to me, telling me I need to get out these streets. I changed my life around a little bit, started going to church more often and bible class and stuff life that,” said Banks.

Alonzo Brooks owns a martial arts studio in West Point. He also had a troubled youth by dealing drugs as a teenager.

“Mine resulted in incarceration. I was charged with possession of crack cocaine. I served 5 years on a 10 year sentence,” said Brooks.

After prison, he decided to throw away his old life and start over.

“When you live a street life, you have a certain image you have to uphold so if you have an altercation with someone where they owe you money, you don’t want that to reach out to other people that’s in that lifestyle because to a certain degree they will take you as a weak person or weak drug dealer. Not saying that it’s right but those are the laws of the street. At the end of the day, that life doesn’t matter because I have nothing from that life. Not one token to show that I sold drugs. Everything that I have today, it comes strictly from hard work,” said Brooks.

DeWayne White also changed his life when he left prison. He’s started a project in Columbus called ‘Come Together,’ hoping to bridge the gap between adults and youth.

“These kids are not bad kids. These kids have not had the role models, the pampering that a child needs,” said Brooks.

All 3 men say life is worth more than stealing and killing.

“They don’t have to be out here in these streets, selling drugs. Shooting people. To be going to jail over something stupid like that,” said Banks.

“If you’re out here doing all of this, all of these crimes, hurting and devaluing a human life, you’re going to jail. They’re going to get you eventually and you are being played. Because you’re going to fill their prison beds up, they’re going to make money off you that you could’ve been making on a job,” said White.

As for Calvin, he has big dreams. He wants to go to college and eventually work for a manufacturing industry.

Categories: Crime, Local News