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Captain Leo Ferguson of US Marine Corps discusses 100 Black Men of DeKalb’s Youth Summit


The 100 Black Men of DeKalb recently hosted the ninth annual Youth Summit at Arabia Mountain High School in Lithonia, Ga. Held on Feb. 22, the event featured Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy B. Martin;  music producer Khao Cates;  attorney Mawuli Mel Davis and several members of the U.S. Marine Corps.

The event inspired teens to take a stand against injustice and taught them how to deal with altercations that can become life-changing.

After the event, Captain Leo Ferguson shared his thoughts on the Youth Summit.

What specific role did members of the U.S. Marine Corps play in today’s Youth Summit?

I took care of a small mentorship program where we gave the students an idea of what we do and the facts of being leaders and applying leadership traits to make good decisions.

What were some of the important lessons that you gave students during this event?

We gave them several tools that will help them in life. Along with Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy, we talked to them about walking away from an altercation and how to use their communication skills to stop violence.

Some kids will have to make a decision on what to do after high school. How does the U.S. Marine Corps change lives?

The best way to talk to young individuals is to give them a scenario of what took place in my life. I grew up in a household with divorced parents and I had a bad GPA. But here I stand today with a bachelor’s and master’s degree; I’m doing what I love and getting paid a good amount of money. I let them know there is an alternative. The U.S. Marine Corp can teach integrity and individual responsibility. It gives you the chance to step up. It gives you a chance to apply what you learned with real-life scenarios.

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