Devonte first became involved with S.O.S. Bed-Stuy through his best friend. His best friend’s mother was aware of the kinds of high risk activities that Devonte was involved with at the time, and convinced him to apply to become a participant with S.O.S. Bed-Stuy. Initially, Devonte believed that S.O.S. was, “full of junk, and that they weren’t going to change anything.” Over time, Devonte saw his mindset begin to change. He now spends his days keeping busy so that he “doesn’t get pulled back out onto the streets”. Along with a changing mindset in himself, Devonte noted that S.O.S. Bed-Stuy has also “made a tremendous change” in the community.

Over the course of November, we’ll be using this space to highlight the stories of the Crown Heights Mediation Center staff, interns, volunteers, participants, and community members. If you’d like to share your story, please email or reach out to us on any of our social media platforms. If these stories inspire you to support our work, please visit our website,, to join us.