Student plans on giving back to gang prevention program

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — For two decades, a local program has helped keep kids off the street.

Briar Cliff University junior Waylon Goodwin said his life changed because of the years he spent at the Sanford Center.

"I don't want to say I was a child of the streets, but they came in like a big brother figure, and picked me up off my feet and gave me the right way to go," Goodwin said.

“I'd probably end up dead or in jail or anything.”

— BCU junior Waylon Goodwin

[Goodwin is a digital media major at BCU »]

"We create a recipe to meet their needs, to keep them out of trouble," Gang Outreach Supervisor George Sayavong said.

And, that "recipe" is different for each child that's in the Sanford Center Gang Outreach Program.

"It's not cut and dry. If you come to me and you don't like school, attending school, I try to figure out what can I do to motivate you to go to school," Sayavong said.

Students in the program meet every day after school at the Sanford Center. Goodwin said, even though, he was in the program a long time ago, it helped him get on the right track and stay on the right track.

"I'd probably end up dead or in jail or anything," Goodwin said.

Goodwin said he recognizes the need in the community, and when it comes to his future career, he wants to do his part for a program that did so much for him.

"I want to do something similar to what they do at the Sanford Center. I kind of want to start my own community center," Goodwin said.

The gang outreach supervisor said other program graduates have gone on to become leaders in local businesses, and given back to their community.

Read the full KTIV article »

Tags: Campus, Justice, Parents, BCU, Student Life, Local Media