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Columbus man performs the Spoken Word after his life changed while behind bars

De'Jon White found his reason for changing his life while behind bars when he was 17 years old. (WSYX/WTTE)

De'Jon White was on the wrong path.

At age 17, he was convicted for felonious assault.

He was in a gang.

He was making mistakes.

He recognizes it now and recognized during his incarceration.

"It took me three years (behind bars) to discover who I was," he said. "I was striving to be someone that I chose to be, not the person I was chosen to be."

De'Jon says his life changed when he started praying.

"I'm a man of Christ, and I do believe that he came into my life and changed my life a lot," said De'Jon. "I went from being a savage to a man of character."

While incarcerated, De'Jon started writing in a journal.

Now, he is turning those journal entries into the Spoken Word, a type of performance art.

"I feel like everyone has some type of greatness inside of them," he said. "Everyone has potential, but not everyone knows how to tap into their inner-self and bring that out."

De'Jon has performed at several venues. He recently took the stage for the Six-Word Memoir project, performing a piece called "Statistics."

He also shared his story with the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

In addition to performances, he serves as a mentor to at-risk youth at the Reeb Avenue Center.

De'Jon is hoping to receive his masters in criminal justice.

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