BROOKLYN - Students and their families took part in an "Increase the Peace" symposium at Wingate High School Saturday.

Organizers from the nonprofit Save Our Streets say they want to keep teens away from violence and gangs.

Former gang member Juan Ramos left his decade-long life of crime when his younger brother was implicated in a shooting death and sentenced to prison.

Many teens join gangs because they want to belong to something, Ramos says. 

He recommends communities provide after-school programs and sports teams as positive alternatives.

There are also workshops on avoiding teen pregnancy and how to handle a teen's arrest.