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MIMIC: Ex-offenders mentoring boys of color

IT SEEMS so long ago now, the life of drug dealing, violence and retaliation that Edwin Desamour lived so recklessly.

That life was played out in the shadows of the West Kensington streets, where Desamour followed his father into the drug game. At just 16, it led Desamour to kill a man in a fight. He was convicted of third-degree murder, and did more than eight years in prison.

Desamour keeps a picture pinned to his office wall to remind himself of that past. In the photo, he is handcuffed. His head, covered with slick, straight hair, is slightly lowered; his face is clean-shaven, and his eyes are partially obscured. A police officer stands behind Desamour. Nothing, it seems, stands in front of him.

“I’ve been home for 16-and-a-half years, and every day I remind myself I’m not going back,” Desamour said after showing me the photograph. “But at the same time I don’t want to see anybody else in my community going back.”

[button link=”http://axisphilly.org/article/the-rescue-mission/” target=”self” color=”red” icon=”none” style=”normal” size=”default”]CLICK HERE[/button]to read the rest of this AxisPhilly column about mentoring boys of color.

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