Summit tries to encourage kids to avoid gang life - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Summit tries to encourage kids to avoid gang life

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Fifth-graders attend anti-gang seminar in Orangeburg County Fifth-graders attend anti-gang seminar in Orangeburg County
ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) -

Brenton Chapple has big plans one day.  Being a gang banger is not one of them.

"When I grow up, I want to be an engineer," said Chapple.

Organizers want to hear positive responses like Chapple's at this year's Gang Prevention and Intervention Summit in Orangeburg.

Inside MLK Auditorium at South Carolina State, Chapple,  along with fifth graders from all over the county learned to just say "No."

"If you be in a gang you can't be smoking, drinking, selling drugs or you're going to go to prison," said Chapple.

The Orangeburg Department of Public Safety put the event together. Officers showed the signs of gang activity and it's negative effects.

The summit was also upbeat.  It's main purpose was to show positive activities for students to consider over a gang. Like dance, playing an instrument, even acting.

"I didn't join a gang but I was just as bad," said keynote speaker Davyne Dantzler.

Dantzler is a former club owner turned gospel rapper. He spoke candidly to the crowd about his life of drugs, going to jail and hanging out with gangs.

"I had my car shot up numerous times," he told the kids. "My club shot up."

"This experience was to tell them you're already great," said Dantzler. "You can walk in the greatness that exists in you."

It was a message students seemed to receive.

""I think gangs are wrong," said Arie Fogle. "'Cause just being with a group of friends that are not setting the example is really not a good thing."

During the question and answer session, some students said they had family members in a gang or felt pressure to join.

If you would like more information to spot the signs of gang activity or just how to say no, call 803-533-4103.

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