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12-Year-Old Mpls. Peace Activist Headed To Boston Conference

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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For four years, a 12-year-old from north Minneapolis has dedicated his life to bettering his community.

Dylan Halberg is known as a peace activist. He is present at most peace vigils held in the community for victims of violence. Now he has an opportunity to go to Boston and participate in a leadership conference.

He says he wants to learn what other communities are doing to stop the violence so he can try it at home.

The proud Northsider is determined to stop the violence that has become all too common in his community. His involvement at school and in the community got the attention of the Congressional Youth Leadership Conference, leading to his nomination to attend a junior leadership conference in Boston this summer.

Dylan believes he can make a difference in his community. The seventh grader at Nellie Stone Johnson School in north Minneapolis is a beacon of light for others, leading the way in the fight against bullying and violence.

“He’s the all-around kid that wants to make the world change,” said Dylan’s mother, Bernice Halberg. “He wants world peace.”

Dylan has been a familiar face at peace vigils in the community.

“Passing out flyers to stop the violence,” he said.

Dylan says too many kids are dying, and his passion to end the violence is personal.

“Some of my friends were the one that got killed,” he said.

He lost two friends to gun violence, both innocent victims caught in the cross fire.

“Terrell Mayes, he is real good friends with the Mayes family,” Bernice said. “Another child that is like a brother to him, Quantell Braxton.”

He is trying to lead by example. He is an A/B student, serves on student council and represents his classmates on the city-wide student council.

Because of his work, the Congressional Youth Leadership Conference nominated Dylan to attend its conference in Boston.

“I want to learn about what they did and try to do it the same here,” he said.

He believes the conference will give him ideas to help improve the lives of people in his community.

“Stop people from killing other people,” Dylan said.

Bernice says her son is a difference maker.

“Our youth is going to be the ones that are going to come out here and say ‘You know what, put the guns down, pick up a book,’” Bernice said.

Dylan grabbed my attention almost three years ago. I first saw him holding a sign at a peace vigil that said, “Don’t shot me, I want to grow up.”

He credits his mentor, national peace activist K.G. Wilson, for helping develop his love for creating positive change.

Only exceptional students across the country are picked for the Congressional Youth Leadership Conference. Dylan hopes to go and Bernice hopes people in the community will help.

There is a Go Fund Me account set up for Dylan. Click here to contribute.

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