CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - It's been nearly two months since the start of the Positive Change Initiative, a program aimed at helping the at-risk youth in Calcasieu Parish.
The program was started by the district attorney's office and various other agencies in an effort to combat teen crime in the area.
The 40 students involved, all middle school age, participated in an orientation process by taking a trip to the state capitol in Baton Rouge Monday.
One of the students, Derrick Williams, said it was a life changing experience.
"It changes your scope about things," Williams said. "It makes you want to learn new things and make a positive impact on your school."
The students visited with state lawmakers, and said it changed their perspective about what legislators do.
"I got to see that lawmakers and people who govern the state of Louisiana are human too," said Darren Metoyer. "It just put a whole new look on how I see the people who make the laws that impact the state."
Braylon Harris, director of the program, said he wanted to give the boys an experience that would show them where they could be someday with hard work and dedication.
"I know what a experience can do," Harris said. "It really solidifies everything you're trying to share with someone educationally and theoretically and an experience seals that in."
The students also met with Gov. John Bel Edwards briefly during their visit, making it a memory they'd never forget.
"Meeting the Governor was amazing, I thought I'd never get this opportunity." said Brennan Lambert.
If you're interested in the Positive Change Initiative program, contact the district attorney's office.