JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A Jackson man shared his life story of trial and triumph by overcoming life’s obstacles. Now, he’s working with the city’s youth to help combat the youth crime and gun violence.

A Jackson native, Jarvis Jones, never had the urge to leave the city. He grew up in a north Jackson neighborhood, trying his best to survive.

Jones found himself tempted by an alternative lifestyle, turning to guns and violence to make fast money. However, his plans came to a halt. At 17, he was convicted of armed robbery and served seven years in prison.

Jones said that prison sentence served as a wake-up call and catalyst that pivoted him toward creating a better future, not only for himself, but also to try and help guide youth along life’s journey.

He noted that many teenagers in Jackson turn to gun violence as a survival tactic. According to Jones, many are suffering from depression, anxiety and other forms of mental illness due to the extreme life circumstances.

Jones is now a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor working toward his Ph.D. He is also an author and business owner who spends much of his time helping Jackson’s youth by providing resources to help deter from gun violence, showing them that he’s living proof there’s much more to life that committing crimes.