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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Graham

JIFF Makes the Difference for Troubled Teens

Eighteen year old DeAngelo Howard was referred to JIFF, Juvenile Intervention and Faith-based Follow-up, by the Memphis and Shelby County Juvenile Court and it helped him turn his life around.

“I was at the wrong place at the wrong time, guns and stuff,” DeAngelo said. “Everybody wants a second chance. I’ll take it. She said… You take it or you go to jail. I’ll take it and do right.” JIFF is a nonprofit organization providing intervention services to at risk youth, ages ten to eighteen, who have been arrested for assault, aggravated assault, theft, robbery, breaking and entering, among others. Richard Graham is the Executive Director and knows how vital it is to break the cycle of juvenile crime. That is why they focus on spiritual and physical health as well as hireability. “Show them that they can have a meaningful life,” Richard told us. “A lot of the kids we work with, they don’t even think they’re going to make it into their twenties.” DeAngelo is thankful for JIFF for that second chance. He graduated from one of the four programs JIFF has to offer.

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DeAngelo has a full-time job and a great connection with his mentor, Coach Ron, who has guided him along the way. “[He] helped me realize that the streets ain’t for me. There’s other ways to get money and other ways to do things, DeAngelo said. “I learned to be a man. Take care of your family. Believe in God. Pray.” This is why our anonymous donor wanted to give JIFF a thousand dollars. Because when you teach others how to live a life of compatibility verses one of conflict, you do break the cycle of juvenile crime. They are a true community changer.

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