Nashville-Davidson

Teens graduate from Nashville anti-gang program, alternative to juvenile court – Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2022-05-11 23:39:11 –

Nashville, Tennessee (WKRN) — It’s the graduation season in central Tennessee, but Wednesday night wasn’t a typical student. On behalf of scholars, these teens were praised for their commitment to gang violence in Nashville.

You didn’t see a typical hat and gown or president or principal, but you could hear all the names being called.

“We are graduating from the GANG and GIFT program,” said Deona Lavender, one of the ten teens who graduated from the program.

GANG, an abbreviation for “gentleman, not gang,” has been in operation for many years, and “Growing in Faith Together” (GIFT) has been successful in partnership with it. Students like lavender say it’s a great alternative to what she’s doing in her life.

“Fight, many battles,” said Lavender. “I always thought I had to react to things, but being here taught me that there’s always something that tries to block me from the bigger ones. Must be ignored. “

This program serves as another option in the hope that high-risk teens with gangster ties will have a different life.

“It’s nice to know that someone like me is there,” Lavender said. “I’m glad I was able to participate in this program. I’m glad I was able to experience something that others might not be able to experience.”

Bishop Marcus Campbell, the chief pastor of the Baptist Church on Mount Carmel, leads the program and states that he is prone to a life of violence, and many of these teens feel that joining the gang is everything. However, through the program, they teach differently and some people form a second family.

“Our slogan for GANG and GIFT is that if we can change your mind, you can change your grind. So to see them treat the situation differently, Make better decisions about who they want to associate with and start thinking about college, trade, or whatever they can achieve, “Bishop Campbell said.

The program is affiliated with the juvenile court system. Judge Sheria Callaway attended the ceremony on Wednesday night. Bishop Campbell states that these types of initiatives are needed more than ever, and juvenile delinquency continues to be sacrificed.

“13 and I might say that it’s very important to figure them out before 19 reaches 20, because by that time we often lose them. We just lost them between the ages of 13 and 20 and are trying to guide them in the right direction and not follow the wrong path, “Bishop Cambpell said.

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To graduate, each student must continuously appear in weekly classes at the church. The program features hands-on sessions and includes field trips to local colleges, so teens can see what their future will be. Most of the initiative is carried out by donations. If you want to donate, you can do the following: Their website.

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