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Kids Take Purple Hands Pledge

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School kids pledge not to use their hands or words for hurting themselves or others, as they take the purple hands pledge.

It's a lesson they learned from a young man who himself broke the cycle.

Daniel Mora grew up with gangs, violence, and crime. But with the help of a mentor, he got into college and this spring graduated from the University of California - Berkeley.

It's a story many kids at Walnut Middle School in Grand Island can relate to.

Jaime Zoto said, "He had a real good message because it really touched me, because how I am today and I'm trying to change like he did."

Walnut was a 2003 National School of Character, when it was honored for a commitment to end violence.

8th grader Olivia Mejia said, "We're trying to get a message across that we shouldn't use violence in our school and if we have problems not to take it out with our hands and our words."

Speaker Daniel Mora is part of an organization called "Homeboy goes to Harvard."

He told students how he was in juvenile detention six times before teachers and mentors helped him break the cycle.

The school also recognized staff members Bob Briseno and Jerome Dubas. They were honored as Staff Member of the Year and Teacher of the Year by the Grand Island Education Foundation in August.

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