BOSTON — A local gang violence prevention program gained national attention thanks to former President George H.W. Bush.
In 1992, Rodney Dailey and his gang violence prevention program Gang Peace was honored as part of Bush's "Points of Light" initiative to promote volunteerism and community service across America.
"When we first started with gang peace programs or gang prevention programs, we didn’t have any money. We took my apartment on Blue Hill Avenue and turned it into an all-night drop-in center," said Dailey.
The group was working hard when they got a call from the White House.
"We found out we were actually the one-thousandth point," said Dailey.
Dailey says when he got the call from the White House, he didn't want to go because he was skeptical of the president's intentions but says he was proven wrong.
Gang Peace ran for 14 years, but they weren't done. Street Peace lasted four more years after that. The program ended when funding dried up in 2004.
Dailey has since written a book including all the strategies he found effective in his work.
"Things fell in place at the right time for us to be effective in the community. What's happening now is that programs aren't large enough. They're not large enough and they don't last long enough to effect change," said Dailey.
Reflecting on former President Bush's death, Dailey remembers the man who honored his work.
"When I met President Bush, I don't know him as a person, but to meet him and look in his eyes. he was serious about what he was doing," said Dailey.
Over his term in office, 41 named 1,020 daily points of light from all 50 states. Former President Barack Obama awarded the five-thousandth point of light back in 2013 with Bush in attendance.
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