Former gang leader tells his story to students

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — A former Memphis gang leader who is now a motivational speaker shared his message to Tennessee Valley students.

Students at Boyd Buchanan School were able to get motivated Wednesday morning by a special guest speaker.

“Just getting kids some motivation, some hope and let them know it is not how you start. It is how you finish. No matter what you are going through transformation is important,” said Delvin Lane.

Lane used to be involved with the Gangster Disciples in Memphis. A character based on him was featured in the movie the Blind Side.

“I am a former gang leader, drug dealer. I started selling drugs when I was 11 years old. My heart was changed in 99. I have been working to show kids a better way,” Lane said.

By dressing up, he showed students what his life used to be like.

“I give them a clear picture of who I used to be and what that looked like and what drawed me into that lifestyle. Then I showed them who I am now and how I got to that point in my life and also give them hope that they can make it too,” Lane said.

In addition to Boyd Buchanan school, Lane also shared his message at Brainerd High School.Administrators at both school say students were inspired by Lane’s message.

“We thought that he could come in and speak a message about transformation to our students that would be very impactful and it was,” said Jill Hartness, president of Boyd Buchanan School.

“Students can learn a lot from different people, everybody brings something to the plate and so this opportunity we have here today is basically allowing our students to see a different way of life,” said Christopher James, executive principal at Brainerd High School.

Lane hopes students realize, it’s possible to create a new path.

“I try to teach them that having a new mindset, a new way of thinking, a new belief system will help them get out of their situations too,” Lane said.

Lane works for a violence intervention team tasked with aiding the city of Memphis to decrease youth gun violence.

Categories: Local News