Phalyn Perry

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/14/art_ypwr_perry.jpg

caption=”Phalyn Perry, 16, encourages young people to make better choices by avoiding gang life.”]
We see lots of stories about the perpetuation of gang violence from generation to generation. It isn’t until a member of a new generation stops and says, “enough” that the cycle stops. That’s what 16-year-old Phalyn Perry did.

She grew up in the gang neighborhood of the Raymond Avenue Crips in Los Angeles. Her father was an original member of the Crips, involved in violence and selling drugs. He went to prison when she was 10 years old for a 19-year sentence on robbery. Phalyn visits her father in prison and says he has now changed his ways. She hopes she will be able to deliver his message of non-violence outside the prison bars. She says, “He always tells me, ‘Bonehead, you’re a very intelligent young girl. Don’t chase boys, chase your school work because it will all pay off in the long run.'”

Today, she actually chases motivation. As a member of Common Unity Reaching Everyone, or CURE, and A Better L.A., Phayln uses her story to inspire others to block out the negativity and hang with the right crowd like she did. Through weekly community events, she inspires other young people growing up with temptation to join a gang, to also say, “enough.”

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview

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31 Responses to Phalyn Perry

  1. Cheyanne says:

    I think that the young girl has grown up an has learned that fighting doing things that should not be done is not a cool thing.Which I Agree with her an it is sad that he dad had to learn the hard way going to prison at age 10 that is something that will open your eyes an tell you that you should go by the things that are good for you not because someone else thinks that it is cool. I know that some people find it hard to say no to friends an family but when something is wrong an you know it don’t do it!

  2. Ms. Davis says:

    This young lady is an inspiration for us all especially the teenagers. Her story is one that goes to show in life we have choices. We can choose to do right or we can choose to do wrong. Since her dad was one of the original members of the gang (from what I read in the story) she could have also chose that path. However, she choose to take what she has learned from that experience and use it in a positive minor rather than a negative one. I command Phalyn for her drive, determination and motiviation and I look forward to hearing her name in the future because I truly feel that this is just the beginning of her doing other great things. You should be very proud of yourself young lady. God Bless!

  3. Roy says:

    Way to go Phalyn, keep doing the right things and you will succeed at whatever you set as a goal. Yours is a story we need to see on the new instead of the negative, drugs and murder. Remember to always put God first and keep on pushing.

  4. DWoods says:

    This young lady is an inspiration to other young ladies and men. It would be great for her to become a spokesperson to promote healthy living in the midst of living in an unstable community. This may very well be her calling to educate today’s youth. In the process she may in fact save lives.

  5. Michael Oke says:

    Phalyn, you made the right choice. One time or the other in life we have to make a choice. Thank you for making the right choice. You are part of the reformation the nation needs. Keep it up. The right choice you made affected a couple of life here in Colorado Springs expecailly the two I am aware off. More grease to your elbow.

  6. Kathy says:

    I would like to congratulate Phalyn and Godspeed in her in endeavors. Thank you for having the vision to help diminish gang violence.

    God is with you.

  7. Nicole says:

    I think the girl is a good example for everyone, in that community and those similar. I go to a high school where gangs are prominent and fighting is almost daily. It’s nice to see someone who is willing to take a stand and fight back through other people. I wish I could get a chance to thank her personally, but since I won’t: Thank you.

  8. LaWanda says:

    beautiful story. lovely young lady. keep doing positive things, phalyn!

  9. Albert says:

    Phaylan,
    Congradulations: It is inspiring and hopeful to hear of your commitment to living a fruitful life. I work in the inner city of Trenton, NJ with youth who are familiar first hand with your story. As a counselor, you have given me more of a reason to stay the course.
    Thank you, and I will be sharing your story with many others.

  10. Jo Jones says:

    What a story. It’s sad but also very enpowering at the same time. I would like to know what Phalyn”s college plans are and what life career goals she would like to fulfill?

  11. Joelle says:

    All I’ve got to say is that I admire this girl! Unfortunately, some of my relatives had to learn the hard way by ending up in jail. Many people bend over backwards to stay away from the cracks, but in the end, they end up falling into the cracks. Phalyn has steered clear of this and is now helping others steer clear too. Phalyn, don’t give this up and keep it up : )

  12. Char says:

    If you make a conscious decision on any matter, envision it. Picture it. You will never lose site of the vision and will work toward the result you want. I did this and now have a new website that is inspirational for those that want to maintain and share keepsake messages. It’s called: http://www.stairwaytothemoon.com. First I came up with the idea, then I secured the resources to help me and although obstacles were presented along the way, I keep going back to my vision. Whether the site is globally successful or not, it is a personal achievement that I can draw on in the future.

  13. Chandira says:

    That’s very cool.
    I know from my own teenage years, it takes a lot of strength to stand up to intense peer pressure! I never had the strength, and it was only by the Grace of God that I never got into real trouble back then.

    Phalyn, good for you! It’s a great thing you’re doing, and don’t ever look back. Keep going.

  14. Erica says:

    I would like to know what made her decide to speak out against gang violence? Was it her father’s arrest that did it for her or was it some other event? I think it is awesome that she chose a different road from her father’s. I also think it is very commendable with the pressure she presumably faced from her peers to not join a gang. My hats off to you. Stay focused!

  15. La Toya says:

    I Agree TO ALLL OF IT, I WOULDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO IF MY FATHER WAS IN PRISON ! AT THE AGE OF 10 I WAS HANGING IN THE HOUSE I NEVER WENT OUTSIDE REALLY ONLY IF I HAD TO GO TO SCHOOL, AND THE STORE. IT’S TIME FOR YOUNG KID’S GROWING TO BE YOUNG ADULT’S TO UNDERSTAND THAT SCHOOL IS VERY IMPORTANT AND IT’S NOTHING LIKE HAVING A GOOD EDUCATION ! PARENTS TELL US THINGS FOR A REASON , YEAH WE DO BAD THING’S WE SHOULDN’T DO BUT LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES…. FIGHTING IS THE WRONG THING TO DO IT DONT HELP YOU AT ALLL. PLEASE TAKE IN THE WORD IM 17 YEARS OLD AND I SEEN EVERYTHING THAT YOU DONT WANT TO SEE { JUST FIGHT FOR YOUR EDUCATION STAY SAFE AND LISTENING TO YOUR PARENTS . BE A LEADER NOT A FOLLOWER

  16. Renee says:

    Phalyn: Congratulations for saying NO to violence! I wish you all the best. I know you can do this and do well for yourself. Stay in school, listen to your teachers and hang out with folks who are going places.

    Good Luck!

  17. Rochelle says:

    Phalyn, I think it is great the way you stay on the right path in life. You are definitely a role model to teenagers, and unfortunately, many adults as well. I pray that you find your niche in life through education and continue to on your path that will have many, many opportunities for you. With a good education you can have so many choices, that it will be hard to make a choice. Good luck to you!

  18. Melissa, Los Angeles says:

    If more people do what you’re doing Phalyn, then there would be less people and hopefully one day no need for a Homicide Report on the LA Times web site. Good job! Stay strong and be someone and not a statistic.

  19. Kara Reed says:

    As a firm believer in “stand up for what is right even if you have to stand alone”, I think Phalyn is wonderful. We need more young people like her making a difference.

  20. James says:

    Phalyn, you go gurl, I probably know your dad, I came from that same cloth of foolishness, I put it all behind me in 1987, the consequences where severe, and the impact is still a boulder on my shoulders, as I press the hills and valleys searching for productivity, finding little opportunity, because of it. But I refuse to give up, because men like your dad need to know, that even though it will be hard transitioning back, the fruit is better then going in the same direction.

    You continue doing what your doing, and be confident that its not over for your father either.

  21. John, Sacramento, CA says:

    Phalyn, I am the Author of The Unspoken(What The World Don’t Talk About). I read your story it is heart breaking but i see you are are strong young lady. You have a direction, clarity, organalization and respect about life. Stay on that path you will go a long ways. And listen to your father he is telling you right. god bless. GO TO MY WEBSITE YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. hppt:// http://www.jonhlbrown.com

  22. Aaron says:

    Hey Phalyn!! Congrats on your decision to do the right thing. I know how many challenges you’ve faced in such a short time but you’ve always showed yourself to be a strong mature young lady. I know your mother and father are both very proud of your achievements and so is the rest of the family. God bless.

    P.S. USC?! You better be going to Tuskegee girl!!

    Aaron, Kathy, Kheri, Kobi, and Kwensi. We love you.

  23. tatianna wrencher says:

    hey sisterr i wanted to say good job on the interview and congrats.
    i love you myy one && only sis=].

  24. nazim.s space says:

    congrats phalyn, very good job

  25. adelin says:

    Its amazing story. I know that some people who live the same really want to find a way, but unfornatelly they don’t know what they are going to do. According to this experience, many people will serve to your own advice and try to make a better live
    Congregatulation on your view to do the best way. People around the world really pround of you

  26. nashrah says:

    im highly impressed!!
    you truly rock girl!!

  27. Joe says:

    great job on reaching out to an LA stricken by gang violence and drugs. It’s great to see your father has changed his ways for the well-being you yourself. Keep up the excellent work, you truly do change this world one day and most likely one life at a time.

    -Joe–Queens, NY

  28. Diane says:

    Thank Goodness Phalyn Perry took note and said NO to the ganglife! Bravo! Keep up the good work,..shoot for your dreams!!

  29. keaasu says:

    In this world today there are plenty of situations like this. I’m just glad that Perry still has contact with her father. In a way she should look up to him because he is now a changed man. Sometimes it takes bad things to happen to someone inorder for them to realize their mistake. I just hope that one day all the violence will stop. I hope nothing but the best for you Perry, and good luck on starting your future.

  30. Tsvetan Penchev says:

    A good start, but human force is not sufficient. We all need God’s help and protection. Put your problems in prayer in the the name of Christ –
    this is the formula of the success.

  31. Jill says:

    Bless you and Rock On!!!

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