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Immigrant from Sudan encourages Omaha teens to avoid gangs

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WASHINGTONTIMES 29 FEB 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Six Monroe Middle School boys stop talking about basketball, homework and what they’re having for lunch so they can listen to Galat Toang.

Sitting in a conference room, the tall 26-year-old reads them a letter he wrote to the rapper T.I. after hearing his new album.

“It made me think about life and being an African American,” Toang said, reading the letter. “I’ve always enjoyed your music since coming to America in 2004 while learning English.”

One of the boys in the group looks like Toang, who is from South Sudan. The boy doesn’t say much during the 30-minute discussion, but he laughs at jokes and soaks up Toang’s words.

The boy and others like him are why Toang has his job.

The Omaha World-Herald reports Toang was hired in December by the Omaha Police Department as a gang prevention specialist. His goal is to help Sudanese and other immigrant groups with struggles they may be facing.

Like the department’s other three gang specialists, Toang acts as a role model to all youths and works to encourage kids to take a positive path in life.

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