Oklahoma officials team up with former gang leader to inspire youth with message of hope

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City law enforcement leaders have teamed up with an unexpected figure to send a message to students.

Michael Concepcion used to be the leader of the most notorious gang in America, The Crips.

Since that time, gun violence has put him a wheelchair and he has a new purpose.

"Don't fail, like me and my friends did. I started with 200-300 guys, and 90 percent of them are dead," Concepcion said. "Not only are 90 percent dead, there are only like 10 of us doing well. We made bad decisions. We made bad mistakes."

On Thursday, he spoke to wide-eyed elementary students at Seeworth Academy and three other schools in northeast Oklahoma City.

The U.S. Attorney's Office and Law Enforcement Coordinator for Oklahoma City hope his visit helps students stay away from gangs.

"Don't keep your mind focused on the negative. Keep your mind focused on the positive," he said.

Concepcion turned his life around in the 1980's, years before the students were even born.

After leaving The Crips and getting out of prison, he had a successful career in TV and music, collaborating with icons like Dr. Dre, Bobby Brown and Michael Jackson.

His passion now lies in challenging urban youth to stay in school, make good choices and be successful in life.