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Former Gang Member Changes Lifestyle

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Ivan Cloyd and his one-year-old daughter, Kyle.
Elliott Francis
Ivan Cloyd and his one-year-old daughter, Kyle.

By Elliott Francis

Nineteen-year-old Ivan Cloyd used to belong to a gang where lives were lost regularly.

"I was part of the 'seven and oh' crew...we were beefing with 'fifth and oh,'" he says. "Three of my friends were killed in the same month."

Soon, the Alliance of Concerned Men stepped in. Over many months the group labored to arrange a truce between the two rival gangs, emphasizing a commitment to making a difference instead of spreading violence.

According to Ivan, it worked.

"We all came together, and put our guns down," says Ivan. "And from that day on nothing has happened between us."

A former high school dropout, Cloyd absorbed the advice and guidance he received and took it to another level. He re-entered high school and graduated. Ivan recently registered at Potomac College, and he'll begin studying there in April.

"I'm looking towards a business major; getting a bachelor's, and then I'll probably go to law school," he says. "Then, I'll just let the wind take me."

Rico Rush, president of The Alliance of Concerned Men, says he's proud of Ivan.

"He's just one of many guy's that we work with," says Rush. "There's so many youth out there waiting to shine; we just got to get the platform to help them do that."

Cloyd's also raising a one-year-old daughter and sharing his experience with at-risk youth in D.C.

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