Friday, September 17, 2004

A Better Life

To each individual, achieving a better life is subjective – to some, it may mean striving for more money, more fulfillment or more time with loved ones. Others consider a better life an insurmountable task. Today’s guests face major challenges in improving their lives, including drug addiction, gang involvement and apathy. Headed down the wrong path, these guests are looking everywhere but inward to work on their problems. They’ve enlisted Larry’s help in taking a positive step toward taking responsibility for their lives. Read their stories below:


At 14 years old, Kayla has already amassed a rather shocking rap sheet: arrested for grand theft auto, assault and minor possession. She also belongs to a gang and recently spent time in a juvenile delinquent center. Her mother Lynette is concerned about her daughter and says they are constantly fighting about Kayla’s attitude. Lynette is trying to work through difficult issues herself, including getting her GED and raising her children on her own.

Though Kayla has already been through a lot in her young life, she is hoping to make a change and set a better example for her younger brother. Larry introduced Kayla to Tamara, a former gang member who has turned her life around and offered to be Kayla’s mentor. The show also provided Kayla with tutoring in her hometown and access to the Boys & Girls Club to help her get started. Since Kayla enjoys playing basketball, Larry promised Kayla that he would hook her up with the WBNA Minnesota Lynx if she can clean up her act and stay in school.


Brandon’s godfather Desmond contacted the show because he thinks Brandon won’t live to tell his tale if he continues on the same destructive path he is on. After a rough childhood in South Central, Brandon is now dealing with the recent murder of his best friend and hoping to get out of the ghetto and the gang he belongs to. He feels hopeless and blames his surroundings for the problems he faces.

Larry introduced Brandon to Khalil, who has a similar background and was motivated to turn his life around after his daughter was killed in a car accident. Khalil is involved with Unity One, a gang intervention program based in Los Angeles. Inspired to help Brandon, Khalil offered him the assistance of Unity One and the use of his recording studio since Brandon is an aspiring rapper.

Quick Clicks

Are you concerned about the direction your own child’s life is headed in? Visit our Advice Archive for the following helpful articles:

A Better Life
Things You Should Know About Teens and Gangs
Talking With Kids About Alcohol and Drugs

If you’re trying to achieve a better life for you or your children, please click here to tell us about it.

For more information on the organizations mentioned on today’s show:

Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Unity One