Man turns from life of crime to role model

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POSTED: Monday, February 20, 2012 - 9:47pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 10:10am

It was a long road of redemption for Joshua Wooders, rescuing himself from the streets of his Valley Park neighborhood.

"I got adapted to drugs, started slanging," Wooders said.

But then tragedy struck, forcing Wooders to quickly get it together. A close friend was shot and killed and the woman who raised Wooders, died.

"That was my heart and soul, my joy," Wooders said. "I listened to everything she said and did."

With his great-grandmother's influence hanging over him, the 27-year-old is now a regular church goer, and a full time student at Southern University.

"Big stepping stone for me, I'm loving it," Wooders said. "I'm first of my family to go to college. Big experiment for me, big step up."

Wooders also counsels young people, trying to steer them away from a life of crime and violence.

But the job is not an easy one. As he looks around his neighborhood, Wooders acknowledges the struggle of trying to get the guns off the streets.

"I just want to know where all the guns are coming from," Wooders questioned. "And what can we do to get them off the streets?"

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