Bridgeport woman teaches social justice to young students to reduce violence in teens

In the wake of deadly gun violence in the East End of Bridgeport, one woman is stepping up to address the problem by teaching little kids "the value of education as a lifeline".
Denise Clemons is the new head of Saint Mark's Daycare and says she's helping to shape young minds by encouraging integrity and character.
The 61-year-old says she hopes that this will help young people stay in school and off the streets as they get older.
From teacher all the way to superintendent, Clemons is a highly respected educator who takes great pride not just being in step with the times, but in helping to promote social progress every step of the way. It is all part of a value system she learned from her mother, which has helped to open many doors along the way.
"She tried to help others, and she still does. Even at 86, she still does," Clemons says about her mother, Barbara.
Barbara Clemons recalls working in the corporate world at a time when the door to advancement was often closed to women of color.
"Social justice is very important to me," Barbara Clemons says. She says she taught her daughter to take her best shot at the glass ceiling, but never to be disrespectful in the process.
"She has to show respect, and when you do that people will respect you," Barbara Clemons says.
Now as the new executive director of Saint Mark's Daycare, a social, educational, and cultural hub of the East End where deadly violence surrounds young people every day of the week, Denise Clemons is imparting values on kids she hopes will keep them safe throughout their lives.
"That's the reason I've brought a diverse group of people here for the children to see because people are from all different walks of life. Everyone has a heart, and I think children need to see that people will help you, but you also have to be respectful, and I think that's really the top of the game, is the respect," she said.
A mother, a daughter, a teacher of social justice and some good, old-fashioned wisdom, Denise Clemons is helping to light the way for the next generation.