GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)- A prevention program helping at-risk young men in North Central Florida is looking for volunteers and donations.
The program is called B.O.L.D. standing for Brave Overt Leaders Of Distinction and it's a program under the Gainesville Police Department’s Reichert House.
Wednesday night, program leaders talked to residents a part of the Black on Black Crime Task Force about how it's helping change the future of the community.
"I was supposed to be, I think right now, at UF,” Gavin Yancy, a senior member of the B.O.L.D. program said.
When Yancey first moved to Gainesville, says he thought he had his life all figured out.
"I got into a little bit of trouble. Well major trouble,” he said.
That trouble landed him behind bars, twice.
During visitation hours, Yancey says he saw tears in his father's eyes for the very first time.
"I realized I can't do this, I gotta do something different,” he said.
Shortly after, Gavin was court-ordered by a judge to participate in the B.O.L.D. program funded by the City of Gainesville through the police department's Reichert House.
"Affording young men the opportunity to get back on their feet, contribute to society by getting their education, assisting their families, some fathers are in our program as well and just being a staple in our community,” John Alexander, Executive Director of B.O.L.D., said.
Gavin is just one of 29 members who have access to resources like mentors and employment seminars that can help them get back into the work force.
"There's things bigger than the streets, there's things bigger than the people you hang with, there's things bigger than the quick money you might make,” Yancey said.
After nearly a year in the program, Yancey is almost finished earning his AA degree and works alongside his dad.
"It's never too late, It's never too late to change and there's always something you can do to better yourself,” Yancey said.