LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's a place where the past is encouragement for the future.
Kevin Handy spent five-years in and out of jail.
"When I was young, I got involved with the wrong type of crowds and started playing with guns and playing with drugs," said Handy.
Handy belongs to an organization called "New Steps Reentry for the Youth." The group works with children in trouble with the law. It helps them make a smooth transition back in the community.
Organizers hosted a story circle on Thursday to tell people where they came from and where they are now.
"I didn't learn the first time and it took a few times until I realized this isn't for me," said Handy. "You know, I need to get my education because knowledge is key."
Handy now has a psychology degree from McNeese. He earned the four-year degree in almost half the time.
He's also a gatekeeper in the reentry program.
"God put in my heart the gatekeepers," said executive director, Connie Lewis. "They're people that will have your back and are watchmen that will make sure you succeed in life."
"Since I can identify and I grew up in their area, I know them and they've seen the change that will help them do better," said Handy.
You can donate or volunteer by calling Lewis at 337-438-1856.