New publisher and nonprofit founder is using his own experience to help break the cycle of violence

NOW: New publisher and nonprofit founder is using his own experience to help break the cycle of violence

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A new publisher in Michiana is using his own experiences as a platform to make a difference in the lives of others.

ABC 57 spoke to the author of the book ‘The Faith of an Unwanted Child’ who shared his inspiring story of how he turned his life around after growing up in the system, surrounded by violence and gangs.

Calvin Swan decided to turn the page of the chapter of ‘the unwanted child’ to become a man every child looks up to. But, how did he get here?

Swan grew up in Chicago where he practically had to raise himself.

He was put in the foster care system at the age of 7, moving from home to home.

At the age of 18, Swan found himself affiliating his life with what he knew growing up which was gangs, drugs and violence.

Swan’s life took a turn when he had his first child and didn't want them to grow up the same way he did and, in that moment, he knew his story would help others fight the everyday battle of survival in the streets.

Now, he’s making it his mission to help at-risk youth here in Michiana who have been exposed to violence.

He released his book ‘The Faith of an Unwanted Child’ to shed light on his own experiences while empowering and inspiring others.

“Our kids are the next generation, it has nothing to do with religion, it has nothing to do with race, it has nothing to do with where you come from. It’s more of bringing everybody together so that way we can move forward with good positive vibes with each other,” Swan said.

Besides being an author, Swan also founded Rise Above Academy.

The non-profit offers academic and recreational training programs to keep kids out of trouble and teach them valuable skills.

Swan’s childhood was far from easy, but he is now making it easier for kids to succeed in life.

Rise Above Academy’s mission is to educate kids at a young age and hopefully break the cycle of lifestyles often associated with living in areas of gang, violence and drugs.

Swan decided to pour his heart, soul and money into his own non-profit.

Now, he has a variety of different board members from the community backing this effort.

Swan says he saw the need for a free youth program that teaches entrepreneurial and life skills through core programs of education, recreational training and more.

They give kids a place to stay, socialize and play sports while their parents or guardians are at work.

They also provide tutoring and mentoring.

The goal is to help under-resourced communities and give families the tools they need to succeed.

“Some of them their environment is so violent, that they don’t know how to interact with each other without anger, so I’m just springing a place where they can love each other, get along with each other, they know how to act out their problems without anger, things like that, so just bring them in a safe environment,” Swan said.

The non-profit is always looking for ways to help the community.

In a few weeks, they will be giving away free backpacks to kids in the community in need.

For more information about the new released book ‘The Faith of an Unwanted Child’ or Rise Above Academy, you can click here.


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