Former gang member teams up with Fresno Unified schools to help lead youth

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Brian King knows first hand what the dangers are for kids on the streets.

As a former gang member, he's committed to making sure students today don't make the mistakes he did.

"In Chicago, I was a leader and forefront member of the gang, and we understand that we were wrong," King said. "We taught our brothers and sister the wrong ways, so now we're going back and trying to teach them the right ways."

Street Saints works with five Fresno Unified schools, identifying students that may need extra support.

"We look for GPA, we look for attendance and we look for behavior," King said.

They go the extra mile to make sure they have an adult they can turn to.

"Going out, having lunch with them, sometimes going to their classrooms and sitting in, one on ones with them, helping them as much as we can academically," King said.

Street Saints also provide mentorship, safe transportation and even conflict diffusion when necessary.

"They just want to be a part of something," says School Site Supervisor Joby Jones. "That gang will recruit them with false dreams and false hopes, like, 'you can be this, you can do this, we've got your back.'" "A lot of times, these kids just want to feel some kind of love, and that gang will give them that fake love, but it's something they may not be getting at home or class."

In nearly 20 years, Streets Saints has mentored hundreds of students, striving to make a positive impact in each young life they touch.
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