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"There wasn’t a future for me after I turned 18."

“Suddenly, I started to think I can do this. I can make something of my life.”

Alan’s Story

Hanging out with gangs and living life on the streets made education seem irrelevant compared to his own survival. He didn’t see a future for himself, but that was about to change.

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"There wasn’t a future for me after I turned 18."

“Suddenly, I started to think I can do this. I can make something of my life.”

“After getting involved with a gang, I was on track to be in jail… or possibly dead. I was expelled from two different schools, and my parents were running out of hope. Then they found Learn4Life. With encouragement and goal setting from my teachers, I left the gang, graduated high school and found my dream career: firefighting! Learn4Life helped me change my story, and in my spare time I volunteer at a rehab center for troubled teens to help them change theirs.”

Based on statistics alone, it would be easy to dismiss some students as a lost cause. According to Alan, “I was on track to be in jail… or possibly dead. There wasn’t a future for me after I turned 18.” After getting involved with a gang, Alan’s educational progress plummeted. He was expelled from two different schools, and his parents were running out of hope that he’d turn his life around.

“That’s when my mom heard about Learn4Life. She begged me just to try it, so I did.” Little by little, Alan’s teachers and tutors focused on growing his confidence, and connecting with him on common ground. “My supervising teacher explained that there’s the dangerous kind of hustling that happens on the street, and then there’s the legal kind of hustling, the sales kind that happens in corporate boardrooms. That made a lot of sense to me. I realized I could keep the skills I learned on the street, but use them to have a better life.”

When Alan’s teachers sensed that he was ready to make a change, they supported him as he left the gang. “I thought I could succeed in school and stay in the gang, but my teachers helped me to see how that would affect my future.” With the negative influence out of the way, Alan was freed up to think about what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. “Suddenly, I started to think I can do this. I can make something of my life.”

80 %

of gang members are dropouts

45 %

of high schools have gang members in their school.

Teacher rapport

is critical for gang intervention

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