GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Nakisha White knows violence, but she has chosen a peaceful path to deal with it. Her family has suffered rape, molestation and domestic violence.
"The only way to stop violence, is with me," White told a group of Gulfport Job Corps students on Wednesday. "It's a choice."
White is the organizer of a mentorship program for youth called The Village. She was guest speaker at the Gulfport Job Corps International Day of Peace event.
"At least one child thinking that they are in control," White said. "A lot of times I hear from a lot of kids that, 'Somebody made me do it.' Or, 'I acted and I don't know why I got angry and lashed out.' If you just take time to think, we're all in control. We all have a choice. You can either act, or walk away."
Violence has also been a part of Aaron Lewis' life. The message resonates with him.
"If you think of it as a negative way, it hurts you and the people around you," Lewis said. "If you think of it as a positive way, you can use it to help you grow as a better person and learn how to improve yourself and everyone else around you."
Each Job Corps center around the country sponsored International Day of Peace events. The Gulfport event had 108 students attend.
Organizer Christian Dubose says communication is the key, and Job Corps is the perfect platform for discourse.
"All those people have been through some things, and you never know that person could have been through the same situation as you," Dubose said. "You can sit down and have a whole conversation about it that you can't have with probably your own parent."
Student Austin Weathers added, "I kind of hope that we could establish a common ground. There's so much violence going on in the world. We need a day set aside for peace to show each other that we still care. We're all people."