Dewayne "Big Baby" LaGarde, BR Peace Broker, Advocates for Youth Investment on The Clay Young Show

May 8, 2024

Dewayne “Big Baby” LaGarde, a Safe Hopeful Healthy Peace Broker, narrates his evolution from a life shadowed by adversity to becoming a bridge for at-risk youth. Growing up in a challenging environment with a single mother striving to make ends meet, BIG was acutely aware of the hurdles many in his community face from a young age. His early encounters with negative influences led him down a dangerous path, reflective of the choices faced by many youths without guidance or positive role models.

"I got off track, you know, I ran with a bad couple of guys. But if I can change the narrative, where I come from, and go back out and educate those who are lost where I came from, I'm doing something. If I can reach one, I'm doing something,"

BIG emphasized his commitment to altering the futures of those following his past footsteps.

BIG passionately advocates for a hands-on approach in engaging with the youth, firmly believing in the necessity of being present on the streets to truly grasp and dismantle the complex web of factors leading to negative behaviors. "We have to be in the streets. We have to be where these kids are... Crime is an outcome. There are so many factors that create what a young man or woman wants to do," he asserts, challenging conventional crime prevention strategies, which often overlook the root causes.

BIG's dedication to this cause was fueled by a profound realization of the impact positive influences could have on one's life trajectory. Surrounded by individuals who invested in him, he saw the opportunity to leap towards positive change. This epiphany ignited his mission to extend similar support to high-risk youth through education, mentorship, and direct intervention through the Peace Over Everything initiative. 

"You put yourself around negative people, you grow negative. But there's a lot of people pouring into me, and that's what we're doing right now. We're going back into the communities where these high-risk individuals, at-risk kids, are... giving them a proper reason to get out, offering a red carpet out," BIG explains, detailing the collaborative efforts of the team to provide a lifeline to these youth.

BIG's story illustrates how personal transformation and deep community engagement can catalyze significant change. Through his dedication, BIG reshaped his destiny and now symbolizes hope, providing that same light someone shone on him when others may have given up. Interested in becoming a Peace Broker? Email us at 

Watch the full segment.

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Program Manager-Partnerships