09/19/2014 09:39 am ET Updated Sep 19, 2014

A Chance to Go From Hard Lives to Healing

Mark Edward Atkinson via Getty Images

Like too many young men in his East Oakland neighborhood, 21-year-old Shaka Perdue spent the earlier part of his youth “living like I was becoming a statistic,” as he put it. At 16, he landed in juvenile hall after robbing a pedestrian in broad daylight. Two years later a friend was shot right in front of him in a drive-by. “In Oakland, you run into all the people you have problems with,” he explained.

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