FARREL, Pennsylvania - A summit to help prevent acts of violence and senseless deaths was held in Farrell on Saturday.
The shooting death of a beloved Sharon sophomore and basketball player, Le Angelo Ford, brought over 300 kids, teens, and parents to a Violence Summit organized by the pastor of Valley Baptist Church.
The goal was to empower kids so when they are faced with adversity they can make the right choices.
"To help them understand that you have leadership abilities, you can make better decisions, you can make better choices," said Pastor Terry Harrison, Valley Baptist Church.
The youth pastor was the moderator of the event which was meant to help give kids and teens coping skills.
"When they see things happening, they need to know they can walk away without getting ridiculed from their friends," said Shelly Doris, Youth Pastor at Valley Baptist Church.
Le Angelo Ford's mother also had a message for the kids and teens. "If they're your true friend, they'll say this ain't a good situation. We need to leave," said
Chief Riley Smoot, Southwest Mercer County Regional Police, told the teens they have the power to stop the violence and senseless deaths.
"If their friend is drinking, don't get in the car, if their friend has a gun, walk away," said Chief Smoot.
Mike Adams, who grew up in Farrell and now plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers and is the Steelers rookie of the year, shared his personal story about making bad choices and learning how to recover from those mistakes and being a leader and not a follower.
"When you're stuck with a difficult choice, think about what your mother would do. It's not always the easy road, but you've got to make the tough choices," Adams said.
Retired NFL star Marlon Jackson, who played at Sharon High School and founded the not for profit Fight for Life, shared his story of facing adversity and making the right choices so he could have a future.
"Growing up in poverty and growing in neglect and things like that, I have a strong belief that God took me through all of those things in order for moments like this to talk with others about how they can do the same," Jackson said.