Hezron, 28, from Birmingham, is a youth worker and motivational speaker. He turned his back on gang crime when he realised the choices he was making were holding him back. He's supporting Amplified, an initiative that seeks to inspire young people to share their experiences on issues that matter.
"At the age of five, I had an accident that left me physically branded by burns. It was a traumatic thing to experience at such a young age. Kids were nasty to me at school and it meant I developed a defensive and violent anger problem.
"I was kicked out of two primary schools and as many secondary schools. It was the same story at home and for a while my mum would kick me out and I’d come back, she’d kick me out and I’d come back. Then at aged 13 I was out for good.
"I lived on the streets, and sofa-surfed with family and friends. I was then put into temporary accommodation when I was 16. It was a really tough time and although I had my own flat and a place at college, I got drawn into gang life as I was comforted by the camaraderie and sense of belonging it gave me.
"When I became a father, my outlook changed. I did a week-long theatre course with The Prince’s Trust at the Birmingham Rep Theatre and I started to realise there was something else I wanted for myself. I managed to get a job at the theatre at the end of the course, and then went on to work at the National Citizen Service. I began working with other young people and started to understand the difference I could make to their futures.
"Some of the things they get involved in can be so detrimental to their life and their mindset. But by being a positive voice for them, and mentoring them in the right way, I’m able to make them see that they can achieve greatness. By focusing on themselves and what they’re doing, they can truly get to where they want to be in life – it’s very, very important."