(CBS) — He’s gone from gang member to being a mentor for troubled youth.
Marcus Jones is someone you should know, CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield reports.
“Ultimately, I made a bad decision,” Jones says of his youth.
He ran track at Hales Franciscan and played football at Kenwood Academy.
But the “lure of the streets” proved overwhelming, Jones says. He joined a gang in hopes of making millions of dollars.
“People wanted to get at me because I was making money. I then had to show that I was a tough guy,” Jones says.
His life changed on April 17, 1995. He and a comrade tried to rob a drug dealer’s home, but the rival was ready for them and opened fire. Jones was shot twice.
As the drug dealer stood over him, Jones remembers, he said, “`I should kill you.’ And he shot me two more times.”
At the hospital, a physician told him he would not walk again.
Jones served a 10-year jail sentence for armed violence. He has been using a wheelchair for 20 years.
Now, Jones wants others to learn from his mistakes. He works for the Black Star Project, offering tutoring, mentoring and work force development to low-income black and Latino communities.
“I love the youth. I love to speak to them,” Jones says. “I tell t hem about my life and tell them that, hey, you don’t want to be in this here. You don’t want to be in this chair.”