By Natalie Neumann
Eleven young men, who were once involved in crime in the streets of D.C., put their past behind them and earned their diplomas.
In the Maya Angelou Public Charter School's Auditorium in northwest D.C., close to 200 teachers, family and friends proudly cheered on the graduates as they walked in.
Phillip McPherson earned his General Education Diploma. But before coming to the New Beginnings Youth Development Center he struggled with life. His mother passed away, he was helping raise his two younger sisters and he says he was getting in trouble all the time. But he says being at the Center helped him get on track.
"It kinda gave me an edge on the resources that I needed to take advantage of to get ahead in my life," he says.
McPherson defied the odds of his past. Later this month he will begin classes at South Carolina State University to pursue a degree in engineering.