Dr. Joe Marshall does what many consider impossible — he gets troubled teens, former drug dealers, and gang members off the streets, out of jail, and into colleges. Joe reaches out to troubled teens through the Omega Boys Club and his Sunday night radio program, "Street Soldiers."
More Funerals than Graduations
Joe was a teacher for 25 years, but he felt like he was attending more funerals than graduations. "It got to the point where I kept a tie in the trunk of my car because I was going to so many funerals," says Joe. "I needed to figure out a way to stop the incarcerations...to stop the pregnancies...to stop the death."
Joe founded the organization called the Omega Boys Club to provide troubled teens with a family setting to discuss their problems and find alternative solutions to their problems.
Providing College Education
"The icing on the cake is the college education that I committed myself to providing for them if college is something they want to pursue," says Joe. "We have 72 college graduates."
One Omega Boys Club graduate was 16 years old and selling drugs on the streets of Oakland when he became involved in the program. He went to college, received his degree in mathematics education, and now teaches math. He says, "I am now a teacher at the place I used to terrorize. I don't think there's a number large enough to express how much love I have for Joe."
On Sunday nights with Margaret Norris, Joe co-hosts a call-in radio show called "Street Soldiers." According to Joe, "Street Soldiers" are people who want to eliminate violence in their own lives and eliminate violence in the community. Joe says, "The radio show gives us an opportunity to help young people that can't come to the Omega Boys Club."
Joe says, "Our goal is to keep young people alive and free. That's it. That's the bottom line."
A Surprise from Hyundai
The Omega Boys Club needed a way to transport teens to and from the club and to take them on trips to see colleges. Hyundai donated not one — but two — brand new Hyundai Santa Fe SUV's.