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Chattanooga teens look to stop the violence

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By Antwan Harris

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Jamarie Joyner says he's been through some tough times in his adolescent years, times he hopes his peers never have to experience.

"Before I was in Stop the Madness, I was gang banging. Fighting, doing a lot of stuff. That's all I saw in my neighborhood," Joyner says.

The Eastdale native says his way of life had to change once he saw the positive role models in the 'Stop the Madness' program.

Put on by the Chattanooga weed and seed group, stop the madness is a 7 week camp young people can attend to help steer their life in the right direction.

Joyner has been with the program for four years and says it's changed his outlook on the future.

Joyner said, "I want to be a better person and a savior for the little kids and show them what I been through and what you don't have to go through."

That's the message Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd delivered as the keynote speaker.

He says no one ever has to be a product of their environment.

"Regardless of what you have, what you don't have, you can set goals for yourself and attain those," Dodd said.

Camp directors say change begins with attitude adjustment and addressing self esteem issues.

Monica Gilbert said, "We talk about that in camp and they have been able to improve their self esteem and come back and say I thank you. I know see it in a different light."

Joyner now focused on graduation, the Brainerd High School junior says the long road to success, begins with looking ahead.

Joyner said, "My message is to keep moving. Never look back and never look to what may happen, just keep pushing."

Visit or for more information.

Email Dr. Ternae T. Jordan, Sr. at or call (423) 648-7820

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