College Athlete Finds Path to Success with SA

LaRon Armstead is a remarkable young man. He is a former Loyola Marymount University (LMU) athlete who towers at 6’5. Today, he is a 23 year-old graduate student and motivational speaker, but there was a time when he was once known as a drug dealer and gangbanger.

“While other kids were going Disneyland, camping trips, having fun, me and my friend were dealing,” said Armstead.

Armstead was in the seventh grade when he was dealing marijuana. He also had reputation for being a gangbanger and fighter. It wasn’t until he noticed a sign for a 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament that his path would change for the better.

Armstead found a second home in The Salvation Army of South Los Angeles, California. Not only did LaRon have a safe place to play basketball, but he was also counseled, mentored and fed. He was even given chores.

Through The Salvation Army’s youth program, Armstead was able to make the decision to change his future; to learn, grow, and become a productive member of society.

In an effort to give back, Armstead now gives motivational speeches at schools and YMCA’s in Southern California. He also works part time in the human resource department at LMU, is a graduate assistant for the LMU basketball team and volunteers as a coach for middle school team.

“The Salvation Army is there and has programs to help guide our young people to a better way of life,” said Major Mike Dickinson, Area Commander of The Salvation Army Los Angeles. “With the support of our donors, we will continue to do the most good for the thousands of other young people in South Los Angeles, just like LaRon.”

 Watch LaRon’s incredible story below courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.


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