Harris' Heroes: Lead4Life program empowers boys to turn their lives around

Harris' Heroes: Lead4Life program empowers boys to turn their lives around. (ABC7)

Inside the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services Frederick Office, a group of young men are writing new chapters in their lives. It's part of a program called "First Chance for You" run by the nonprofit organization "Lead4Life."

The boys share a common bond. They all got into some type of trouble either at school or with the law. In this group though, it's not about focusing on the past mistake. Instead, it's about the choices the boys make.

"That's the premise. It's about empowering these young men and as you move forward, that mistake doesn't define who you are," says Group Facilitator Ernie Williams.

"It's about focusing on all their positive attributes This is bump in their life," notes Lead4Life Care Coordinator Lindsey Feldman.

For the teens, the message is making an impact.

"I have a second chance and I'm starting to do the right stuff like getting back into sports and stuff," says one 15-year-old who didn't want to be identified.

Adds an 18-year-old group participant, "It's good to know that the ball's in my court and that I'm in charge of my future, that it's up to me to make the right choices."

And that's the goal of the First Chance For You Young Men's Group.

"I've never once had a kid come in and say, you know, I want to continue to make these mistakes. They don't," says Feldman

Overall, 80-percent of those that participate in Lead4Life's programs do not re-offend.

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