Edward Tucker was introduced to drugs and gangs at a young age.
"I was just a young kid, out there doing anything," he said.
Now, 17-year-old Tucker is a cadet at Sunburst Youth Academy. CBS News has been following Tucker and other cadets throughout their time in the program.
When he returns home to the Los Angeles area, he said, the influences that plagued him in the past will still be there. "But I am going to try and separate myself, so I don't go down the other path," he said.
"I have a picture of my younger brother, 2 years old. And I want to better myself so he won't go down the path I went down."