Former Gang Member Speaks to Youth

March 13, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Some south valley families are looking for ways to get rid of gangs in their neighborhoods.More than 1,500 people packed the gym at El Monte middle school in Orosi Wednesday night.

They took part in a gang summit hosted by Tulare County's Gang Prevention task force.

While adults listened to a deputy talk about "gang awareness", a former gang member spoke to young people. Joshua Huerta, former gang member, says "I want them to know that there is hope, that they don't have to be a part of a gang to get attention. The quickest way to get attention is to be successful and through education."

Wednesday night's program was bilingual and the first held in a rural area of the county.

Organizers say plans are underway to take the program into other communities later this year.