Years ago, my stepfather was defending himself from an act of gun violence by using his own gun. Even though he said it was self-defense, he was put in jail for ten years. Taking someone’s life is going to hurt you whether you think so or not. Even if you somehow avoid being arrested, you can be in prison in your mind. I want to let young people know it’s not a game. It’s very serious. Young people think gun violence is cool. They see their older brothers, cousins and even fathers doing it and they probably think, well – that’s what it’s all about. That’s what I’m going to grow up to be. If there’s one thing the PLC has taught me it’s to have your own mindset. It teaches me responsibility and leadership and how to think independently. My advice to young people? Have a mind of your own. Don’t try to follow those who may be committing gun violence. That’s not the way to “fit in.” If you want a crew to fit in with, come see us at the PLC. You’ll be respected, encouraged to think for yourself and supported in creating a more positive future.