Teen Leadership Summit Held at West Middle School

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Some local middle school students are getting a dose of reality on what could happen if they get involved with gangs and break the law.

More than 400 West Middle Schoolers heard from Oliver Reed during a teen leadership summit. Reed probably scared some of them straight. He works in the county's juvenile detention center. He says he's watched offenders as young as 16, miss out on birthdays and holidays, while waiting to be sentenced for robbery and sometimes murder. Eighth grader Amijia Macklin say they learned some valuable lessons heading into high school.

"When he said something is bad in your life, just step around it and finish school. And that's something i needed to hear to cause sometimes little things involved in your life but all you gotta do is step around it and worry about that later," Macklin said.

Students also learned strategies to speak to their friends about bullying and peer pressure.

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