From Gangs to Glory: The Life of LaPonne Burton Inspires Many

3 Mins read

Professional speakers know that simply giving people instructions is not enough.

When you tell someone what to do, it can feel overwhelming and impersonal. But when you share a story, you can connect with your audience on a deeper level and make your message much more relatable. This is why stories are so crucial to the success of a speech and to the success of the speaker themselves.

But where do you find these stories? The answer is simple: they must come from your own life experiences. Your personal stories are the key to unlocking the potential of your message and connecting with your audience in a meaningful way. Many speakers rely on their personal stories of hardship and triumph to inspire and motivate their audience.

By sharing their own struggles and how they overcame them, they can connect with others who have faced or are going through similar challenges.

One person who has experienced and overcome such challenges and is now a notable speaker is LaPonne Burton. LaPonne Burton’s story is one of incredible resilience and redemption. Born in the heart of San Francisco’s Western Addition, commonly known as “Fillmore,” LaPonne faced an early childhood filled with turbulence and trauma. At a young age, he was forced to flee his home and soon found himself living on the streets, caught up in the violence of gang life.

Despite the odds stacked against him, LaPonne refused to let his spirit be broken. He was determined to break free from the cycle of violence and make a better life for himself. With unwavering resolve, he pursued his education, earning his high school diploma and even attending a step-to-college program to make up for lost credits.

It was during this program that LaPonne experienced a transformative moment. A Black Studies course opened his eyes to the richness of his cultural heritage and the importance of preserving it. He began to see how his actions were harming his community and made a conscious effort to scale back on his involvement in gang activities.

LaPonne had always had a passion for music and was inspired by the movie “Krush Groove” to contribute to the world of hip-hop. He became a beatboxer named Jam Master “Day” and formed a group with his middle school friends Coolcat and Mitch, later replaced by Mario, based on Run-DMC and Jam Master “Jay.” His musical talent even landed him a spot on the local San Francisco Network show, Home Turf, hosted by Dominique DiPrima, where he discussed community issues with X-Clan, the conscious musical group.

Despite his musical success, LaPonne’s life was still in danger. One night, while under the influence, he had a run-in with a drug user who demanded a discount. When LaPonne refused, the situation quickly escalated, and the drug user pulled out a gun, pointing it at LaPonne’s head. Just in time, LaPonne’s triple-OG Jay Stone intervened and saved his life, taking the gun away from the attacker.

After this close call, LaPonne was left shaken and paranoid. As he walked home, he was constantly looking over his shoulder, afraid that someone would ride up on him and kill him. But as he lay in bed in his apartment, something miraculous happened. Suddenly, he received a revelation, hearing a voice from Yahweh telling him to go to Atlanta.

And surprisingly, within a few days, his friend Ms Regina Davenport, whom he called his “ghetto angel,” announced that she was moving to Atlanta. She encouraged LaPonne to keep in touch and eventually make a move to better his life. It was a sign, and he took it as one. And just like that, at the age of 20, LaPonne decided to leave San Francisco and start a new life in Atlanta, leaving his dangerous past behind him.

However, settling in Atlanta wasn’t a piece of cake; but, despite facing difficulties in finding employment, he didn’t give up and started volunteering and consulting on little behind-the-scenes roles. But it was A/R Coordinator Regina Davenport’s belief in his capabilities which unlocked fresh opportunities. Regina had previously worked for LaFace Records, Stankonia, and Purple Ribbon Entertainment and saw potential in LaPonne.

As his career progressed, he became the CEO of F.U.E.N.T.S. and collaborated with Aaron Reppert, the founder of Travsonic Studios, who was mentored by Calvin Roberts, the D.I.T. on the iconic franchise Star Wars: Return of the Sith and Attack of the Clones. Together, they produced high-quality multimedia projects.

His hard work during his struggles did pay off, and now he’s serving as an entertainment executive and has created several works, including “Troublesome: The Untold Story,” “Overcoming the Storms,” and “Bayville Cartoon Animation.”

He has also hosted live concert events and conferences, such as the Toronto International Music Summit, and mentored at-risk youth through various government programs, including those at the Family Worship Centre in Canada and the Boys & Girls Club in San Francisco and Lawrenceville, Georgia.

As he continues to make a name for himself in the music industry, we must appreciate him for his achievements which are a true testament to his determination, resilience, and ability to turn his life around. LaPonne Burton is inspiring many people and, most importantly, from his very own story!

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