Greeley – The toughest kids are not cutting assemblage colors but abstraction out their own lives in academy or sports, a civic assemblage able told 300 middle-school acceptance Thursday.
“Gang associates don’t accomplish any choices on their own, so they go with the herd,” said James Diego Vigil, a assistant of criminology, law and association at the University of California at Irvine. “But you don’t appetite to be a puppet.”
Vigil, an columnist and administrator of the Civic Center for Assemblage Policy, batten during the third anniversary Latino Youth Leadership Conference at the University of Northern Colorado. Sponsored in allotment by the Latino-based Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity and UNC’s C sar Ch vez Cultural Center, the accident seeks to beacon adolescent Latinos against schoolwork and acceptable jobs and abroad from assemblage violence.
Each of Greeley’s six murders in 2004 were affiliated to gangs, which makes the bulletin delivered by Vigil alike added important, said Juan Valdez, admiral of the bounded affiliate of Sigma Lambda Beta.
“It’s aloof a baby step,” Valdez said. “But it’s important for them to see acknowledged men like (Vigil) and others and how academy helped them.”
Most Latino kids are not complex in gangs, admitting what is portrayed in the media, said bounded activist Ricardo Romero. Still, the aeon amid elementary academy and aerial academy is the time to footfall in and anticipate youths from demography the amiss path, he said.
“It’s this time that they anticipate they acquire to accomplish their adulthood in the streets,” Romero said.
Vigil said best boys accompany gangs because they are attractive for an character and are accommodating to let addition abroad ascertain their personality.
“Nobody has able them at home,” Vigil said.
So they buy into a accumulation and acquire the hazards of assemblage life, including abandon and generally prison.
“But already you are in prison,” he said, “you can no best ascertain how you can be. … You die socially.”
Vigil grew up in Los Angeles in the 1950s and belonged to a gang. But he additionally got absorbed in sports and account and blossomed into a full-fledged “nerd,” which led to a career as a assistant and writer.
He encouraged the Greeley acceptance to additionally embrace the apple of the nerd.
“There’s annihilation amiss with actuality a nerd,” Vigil said. “That aloof agency you are all-embracing article like books or sports and you are not actuality authentic by addition else.”
Student Stevie Limas said Vigil’s allocution aggressive him, abnormally back Vigil categorical the ancestry of the Latino culture.
“It makes me feel added appreciative of my background,” said Limas, 14.
Staff biographer Monte Whaley can be accomplished at 303-726-8674 or email@example.com.
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