Friday, June 6th, 2014
Augusta, GA (WRDW)- Teens are out of school but it's during those summer months that they can find themselves getting involved with the wrong crowd. Chad Williams was in a gang for 13 years and didn't know any other way of life. Now he's out, and he wants to mentor kids to make sure they don't make the same mistakes.
"I thought well maybe this is the right thing to do. This is the right way. Look at all the love they're showing me," said former gang member Chad Williams.
At 14 years old Chad Williams didn't think there was any other way to live your life.
"They wanted to put a gun in my hand and they wanted me to do things or sell drugs or do stuff to make money," said Williams.
Williams was a gang member for 13 years. He's been in and out of prison, shot, stabbed, and seen things he can't even talk about, but it was one night sitting in a cold jail cell he decided to turn his life around.
"My heart that was once black finally opened up into a normal person's heart, and I felt pain for other people and sorrow for other people, and back then years ago I didn't. I was heartless," said Williams.
Tired of being in jail, and tired of hurting his family, Williams decided to work with the full circle refuge, and tells teens his life story, so they don't walk down the same path he did.
"I have the tattoos. You know everything that would draw a kid's attention. That's into that lifestyle or wants to be a part of that lifestyle. I'm here to mentor them and show them that that path ain't the way," said Williams.
Richmond county deputies say teen crime goes up during the summer months. Typically, teens get in trouble for petty crimes, but Williams says it's those small infractions that lead them to committing major crimes.
He said it's during the summer that teens need their parents the most.
"We'll say things to our kids sometimes, and it will go in one ear and out the other but sometimes when somebody else who's actually been there and done that and experienced the woes of that type of life. It can be an eye opener," said Evie Jenkins.
"There is a way out and the grass is greener on the other side," said Williams.
Williams said that if anyone watches and wants or needs help he's a call away.
You can find contact information Full Circle Refuge at