High school student Damon Smith had been suspended more than twenty times before entering Ralph Bunche High School in Oakland, an alternative high school for chronically expelled students. After working with Eric Butler, a restorative justice counselor at the school, Damon left behind the gang violence he had been embroiled in, earned a 3.7 GPA and graduated valedictorian in his class. How did it happen? This new video produced by Storycorps and the Atlantic Philanthropies tells Smith’s story of his struggle between realizing his true potential academically or falling back into the street violence of his hometown.
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