Former gang member to speak in Kings Beach | SierraSun.com

Former gang member to speak in Kings Beach

Alanna LungrenSierra Sun

From his life as a gang member to motivational speaker, Joey Ray Lucero will share his experience, insight and guidance with North Tahoe Middle School students, parents and community members on Monday.The event is hosted by youth group Creating Alternatives and community group Creciendo Unidos/Growing Together. The visit is one aspect of the groups efforts to curb and prevent gang influences in North Shore communities.Lucero is a representative with Homeboy Industries, an organization that began in 1988 in Los Angeles by Jesuit priest Father Gregory Boyle with a mission to assist at-risk and former gang involved youth to become contributing members of our community.Homeboy Industries has since spawned into a multi-level organization. They offer training and jobs in businesses they operate, and they address the causes of gang violence and the attraction of youth to gangs.Diana Cristales-David is a coordinator with Creating Alternatives and used to work toward gang prevention with the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe. After seeing Boyle appear on CNN, Cristales-David suggested the group try to bring a speaker to talk with the community.[Gang] representation comes in waves, Cristales-David said. It is good to have preventative and educational [opportunities] in place.She said she hopes the community will learn of the value of prevention and alternative opportunities for youth at Mondays speaking event.I hope it is a chance for kids to see something and hear something better, Cristales-David said. My theory is, if you live in a community, no matter how nice you make it look on the outside, the backstreets will catch up to you … if you have a high-risk situation, wouldnt you want to take care of it?