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Troubled Teens Turnaround

Why do some teens feel so hopeless that they’ll risk their lives by turning to gangs and drugs? Dr. Phil and Father Greg Boyle, executive director of Homeboy Industries, discuss strategies to help troubled kids overcome their darkest demons.

Futures, Not Funerals


Leevester

 

Father Greg

Dr. Phil welcomes Father Greg Boyle to the stage.

 

"We get about 15,000 folks who walk through our doors every year, gangmembers trying to redirect their lives," says Father Greg Boyle, executive director of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang-intervention and rehab center in the country. "They might come for tattoo removal and discover that we can locate a job for them or maybe they need counseling."

 

Leevester reveals how Homeboy Industries changed his life. "I was born and raised in one of the most gang-fested areas of Los Angeles. At 12 years old, I started getting involved in drugs, selling drugs and using drugs," he recounts. He says that at age 15, he served five years in prison for attempted murder. "Upon release, I came and talked to Father Greg, and he just signed me up and told me, 'My son, come back Tuesday.' After that, I've been working here ever since. Without Homeboy Industries, I'd probably be back in jail right now."

 

Another young man says, "I was an active gang member. [My tattoo] was a mistake. I just want to change my life, and do what I have to do as a man."

 

"Los Angeles is the gang capital of the world," shares Father Greg. "In L.A. County, we have 1100 gangs and 86,000 gang members. I buried my first young person in 1988. I buried my 170th this morning."

 

 

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