Former felons help kids stay out of gangs, connect with their communities

Posted at 9:44 PM, Jul 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-30 23:43:08-04


NORFOLK, Va. - An event in Norfolk on Saturday was dedicated to helping Norfolk’s at-risk youth stay out of gangs.

At the 2nd Anti-Bullying, Gang Awareness and Gun Violence Prevention Forum, former felons focused on connecting children with law enforcement, and teaching parents about how gangs might recruit their child.

Norfolk resident Robert Henderson told News 3 he spent the majority of his youth in and out of jail, making choices that destroyed his community rather than build it up.


Norfolk resident Robert Henderson shared his life story with community kids in the hopes they make better choices growing up.

“I’m concerned about what’s going on in our community with the youth, and I just want to encourage them to think about their actions," Henderson told News 3.

He has since turned his life around, and now dedicates his time to helping kids stay on the right path.

"Hopefully I can catch some of them before they made some of the mistakes I made. I’d like to be a help to them if anyone needs me, or wants to talk to me about the consequences of their actions, then I am here for them.”

Henderson shared with kids and parents how difficult the majority of his adult life has been because of the choices he made early on in life. He encouraged kids them to pick their friends carefully and listen to their parents.

Henderson told News 3 it all comes down to making the right choice.