Street Life/Gang Member

Deuane 'Shakey' Carter Church is comfortable talking about his past. Although he does not profess that the results of his choices are easy to live with, he realizes something now that he did not then - he does indeed have choices.

He is in a wheelchair as a result of a violent act, he has been to prison, and he lost his mother while he was incarcerated. Despite all of this loss, his love of family and hope for the future continually give him the strength to share his story.

"I came to a place where so much had been taken from me that my story was all that I had left to share. I have the ability to pay forward what I have learned." Shakey was excited to join our Human Library because of its connection to the youth in our community. "I want to allow children to see the consequences of my actions as well as learn the opportunities that can come with choices, both good and bad. I want to not only make them think, but to think critically. Speaking to them now offers them an opportunity to speak up for themselves later."