Jamal lived with his mother, Denise. His dad did not live with them but would come around every couple of months to assault Denise and abuse Jamal. Jamal and his mom moved frequently to try and avoid his father. The frequent moves and the violence and chaos in his home took a toll on Jamal. He became involved in gangs, started using drugs and was kicked out of high school.
A friend encouraged Denise to attend Calvary Temple Baptist Church at 29th Street and Holmes Road. When Jamal saw his mom growing stronger from attending church programs, he became involved in Talent of a New Generation, a skills-building HIV-prevention program at Calvary that targets high-risk youth. The program has helped Jamal learn how to prevent HIV, develop a positive peer group and find adult role models. The program uses youth talent and the media to spread HIV-prevention messages, and in the program Jamal has learned how to produce television programming to serve that mission.