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Former Gang Members Now Helping To Rebuild Lives

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - At the intersection of Hatcher and Malcolm X Boulevard, waving hands extend from passing cars.

A heavyset man strolls around a corner, a distinctive gape in his walk. "Hey, what time is church Sunday", he asks of the man in the dark sunglasses. "We start early brother, 9am", Omar Jahwar responds.

Jahwar, who now leads a church in Oak Cliff, along with his friend Antong Lucky, get plenty of attention in this part of South Dallas.

"Our area was really East Dallas", Lucky explains when describing the neighborhood he called home. "We were surrounded by Crips. Me and a couple of guys decided we were going to be Bloods".

Both men now battle the lifestyle that they embraced years ago.

Jahwar now leads Vision Regeneration. After a stint in prison, he dedicated his life to move others away from the gang culture. He says his success is built on the examples seen at the South Dallas intersection this morning. People know what he's been through, so they value his voice. "When you connect the dot, as to how transformation works, (people) have a pattern to follow".

Lucky says he was always a leader, both in the gang life and in prison. He decided to use his leadership skills to change lives for the better after being paroled. He runs several small businesses now. "People are inspired because they know our story. They know from whence we came", he says.

Both Jahwar and Lucky are part of a mini-series being premiered on the internet. "Comeback" chronicles individuals who withstood adversity, then deciding to dedicate their lives to help others.

"Believe me when I say transformation is real".

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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