Former inmate talks to high school students about the law

BLAST program

The U.S. Attorney's Office is showing local high school students the different aspects of law enforcement. In the BLAST (building lasting relationships between police and community) program on Wednesday, the students listened to different speakers, and acted out scenarios as police officers.

Kenji Darling, a former inmate, was one of the most captivating speakers of the day.

"I got arrested for conspiracy, drug conspiracy, to distribute crack cocaine in this district," Darling said. "I lost something that was real valuable to me, and that was my time with my daughter. I was going to be there for her just like my mom and dad was there for me. But I broke that promise, and it was nobody's fault but mine. I vowed after that I needed to correct my life."

Now a project manager, he is making up for lost time, and looking to help others along the way.

For one student who is currently going through the court system, Darling's story was a wake up call.

"I was pulled over and I was found with marijuana and paraphernalia," Benjamin Wilson said. "I was sentenced to 45 hours of community service. I got off easy basically."

Darling wants to keep sharing his story, to help kids realize they can choose differently.

"Don't think that just because today is gloomy, tomorrow can't be sunny," Darling said. "Don't give up."

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