Macon group works to get people out of gangs and into jobs

Macon group targets gang members and those down on their luck

We are five weeks into the new year, and Bibb County has already seen four homicides, a fatal shooting and one suspicious death.

But a new Macon group called "What if it was Your Child" is working to change that. 

The group is targeting gang members and people in bad circumstances to offer them free GED classes and career training through Central Georgia Technical College.

Darren Banks keeps a couple of papers and certificates inside of a folder as a reminder of just how far he has come.

“In 2014, I was out for almost two years,” said Banks.

He says he was forced to quit his job of 14 years after suffering from several blood clots.“Not knowing what you’re going to do and having to [go] back into the workforce, that was kind of a scary thing,” said Banks.

But with a family, he knew he had to figure something out. 

After searching for two years, he says he came across a program offered by Central Georgia Technical College.

“I had never used a ruler, but now I can use a ruler on anything,” said Banks.Banks says the program taught him career skills and trained him to apply for his current job at YKK. 

Now, Roger Jackson says they want to take the program one step further and target gang members and those in bad circumstances.

“There are programs all over this country that are hiring ex-convicts, that are hiring people with felonies, that are hiring people with misdemeanors,” said Jackson.

Jackson says he and few others created the "What if it was Your Child" program to help give those people a chance to get a GED and establish a career through free classes offered at the college.

“Give them a second chance to get on the right track because it could be their child, so what if it was your child that was faced with this,” said Jackson.

If Banks' story is any indication of how the program will help, his daughters Toccara and Tierani say it will make for better community.

“I loved my daddy, and I didn’t like him [having] to go through that,” said Toccara. 

If you are interested in learning more about this program, Jackson says to call Howard Scott at (478) 751-6160.

© 2018 WMAZ-TV


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