Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives

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Rev. Leon Kelly receives Certificate of Recognition

Rev. Leon Kelly receives Certificate of Recognition from The Way to Happiness Foundation

RevTWTHMLK15Gang Members on Parole Continue to Find Inspiration at Flippin’ the Script Graduation In the wake of all the recent gang violence, Rev. Leon Kelly, Executive Director with Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives, continues to inspire former gang members newly released from prison to make the right choices

The Department of Corrections Flippin’ the Script program recently celebrated its 24th graduation. Rev. Kelly runs the program weekly with men and women who are working to make a new life for themselves.  Rev. Kelly celebrates their accomplishments in a graduation because, as he often says, “these are people who haven’t experienced that kind of acknowledgement.”

During the ceremony, Rev. Kelly often mentioned The Way to Happiness, pointing out that while he is a Christian, he works with any person of any denomination willing to help him keep kids off the streets and out of gangs.  He was honored with a Certificate of Recognition, signed by the President of The Way of Happiness Foundation International, Caralyn Percy, and presented by Susan Gaut, Director of  Special Affairs at the local Church of Scientology. The certificate noted that Rev Kelly was  precept #6, “Set a Good Example,” personified.  The Foundation congratulated Rev. Kelly on all his good works in the community, and thanked him for his association with The Way to Happiness

The invocation was given by Pastor Robert Kimbel with New Birth Church.  Lloyd Lewan, Founder of Lewan and Associates and the Lewan Family Foundation, and Denver Sherriff Department Chief, Gary Wilson, addressed the crowd gathered in the community space at the Church of Scientology in the Ballpark neighborhood.  The message was consistent: the men and women graduating can inspire others in the community to make the right choices because of the path they have chosen.
The keynote address was delivered by the Director of Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Ron Sloan. A Denver native, Sloan told the crowd that he could have easily been sitting where they are—post prison and forging new lives without crime.  Sloan related that he’s never forgotten his Denver neighborhood and how easily he could have gone “the other way,” except he played football as a teenager. He reminded the graduates that “prison is not an option”—the mantra Rev. Kelly has instilled in them, and wished them well on their journey

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