They say it is better to light one candle than curse the darkness.
It’s an old, old phrase but one with a powerful message that's as fresh and new as today.
A new group called "Life Connections Omaha" is trying to light that candle by reaching out to families in need of hope and direction.
And word is getting out.
Three people are shot near omaha north high school last august.
One of them died.
Just days later, a wave of positivity was born at Omaha North High School.
LaVonya Goodwin started the group aimed at showing young people there are flickers of light in the community. One only has to open their eyes and see.
“We can talk about the root of the problems but until we implement solutions, we continue to keep talking,” she said.
The move to “walk the walk” began to enlist kids in the community to help strengthen it through family ties.
“There's a lot of struggle here in this community but there's also a lot of positivity so if we don't reach for the positive, we'll be constantly focused on the negative,”
Then, talk turned to action and teens started to believe.
Life Connections gained momentum finding the positives and strengthen families through kids talking with other kids and creating mentors.
“First of all be an example,” Goodwin said… “Be an example as a person, be an example in your family and then reach for others.”
What started with a few members quickly grew.
Davian Sayers wandered into a meeting one day.
Today, he sees himself as a role model.
“Everyday I look in the mirror,” he said.
And he’s more than capable of spreading a positive message.
“You just have to understand what they've been through and talk to them and tell them you can have a better life than that,” he said. “You can even help your family or whoever you fell like helping.”
Troy Graham was invited to a session.
“I see myself as ambitious, intelligent, unique, social and hard-working,” he said.
Today, he provides insight for others.
“Sometimes you don't see the options but they're there. You just got to look hard,” he said. “You could be looking in the wrong place sometimes.”
These young men help form a foundation of positive change. It’s a good first step where it's needed the most.
Life Connections Omaha is holding an informational session at the Community Engagement Center on the UNO campus tonight from 6 to 7p-m.
Both Davian Sayers and Troy Graham are both speakers.
The public is encouraged to attend.