Former gang member featured in 'The Blind Side' speaks to Tennessee Valley students
A former high ranking gang member visited local schools Wednesday with a message of hope and new beginnings.
A former high ranking gang member visited local schools Wednesday with a message of hope and new beginnings. His story is most famously depicted in the movie 'The Blind Side' as the main drug dealer named Alton.
Delvin Lane was invited to share his message with Boyd Buchanan students. The school then decided to partner with neighboring Brainerd High School, so those students could also hear his story.
School officials at Brainerd would not allow us to attend, but say students walked away with a positive message.
"What I do is I give them a clear picture of who I used to be and what that looked like," Lane said. "Then I show them who I am now and how I got to that point in my life."
Lane talked to students about his days as a high ranking gang leader and well-known drug dealer in Memphis and his backstory as it played out in 'The Blind Side' when he considered football standout Michael Oher to be a potential bodyguard for his crew.
"Just give the kids some motivation and some hope to let them know that it's not how you start, it's how you finish," Lane said. "No matter what they're going through, transformation is important."
Lane, who started selling drugs at age 11, was able to turn his life around. He's married with three children and has earned a master's degree. He's living proof there's another way to survive the streets. He says it's never too late for change.
"I try to teach them that having a new mindset and new way of thinking, a new belief system will help them get out of their situation too," Lane added.
Lane told Channel 3 it was his faith that saved him. His former gang members no longer consider him among the living, since he was spiritually reborn in 1999.