Former Gang Member Reaches Out to Lansing Teens

By: Ali Gorman, R.N.
By: Ali Gorman, R.N.

Joseph Jennings visited all four Lansing school district high schools to talk to kids about the reality of drugs and alcohol, gangs and teen pregnancy. His style is unique, but he commands attention.

Jennings says he relates to teens today because his story could be their story. After being told material things would make him happy, he joined a gang. He's been burned, stabbed and shot thirteen times.

Public safety supervisor Will Rogers says Jennings has a way of taking the glamour out of sex, drugs and violence. "Joseph is raw. He gives it to them straight," he said. Rogers also said he's seen the positive effects of Jennings' visits and his style reaches many kids.

Jennings will continue his outreach Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Lansing Center. It's open to all teenagers.


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