Durham native Otis Lyons aka Vegas Don CEO/Founder of Campaign4Change which
is a non-profit anti-Gang, anti-Drug Dealer organization. Vegas is a community role model that has come from a broken home of being raised by his poor grandmother. His mother was on drugs and his father was no where to be found. As a child he turned to the streets and as a result he started one of the first gangs in Durham, NC.
From age 12-19 he ran the streets of Durham, shooting and robbing people and selling drugs. By 19 years of age the city of Durham labeled him a menace to society and sentenced him to a 30 year sentence in prison. While serving his time,
Lyons studied law and contacted a court appellate defender who worked on his
case diligently. Lyons case was over turned 3 years later and he served a total of
5 years in prison.
In 1994, Lyons was released from prison and his transformation of being a productive citizen began. It took him nearly seven years to make the total change from weed smoking, cocaine snorting, and a lucrative life style of being a high level drug dealer. Vegas quit a $10,000 a week salary from selling drugs and separated himself from the negative vices of street life. Lyons credits of street life. Lyons credits God for making him finally choose the path of a community advocate and positive role model for underprivileged youth. In 2001, Campaign4Change was born and Lyons changed his street name to Vegas Don the voice for the Gang Bangas and Drug Dealers who wants to make a positive change. For the past 14 years unyieldingly Vegas is out in the community trying to deter youth from Gangs and Drug Dealing. He also visits schools, prisons, colleges, group homes, boys and girls clubs, charter schools, etc. spreading his message.
A recipient of the 2008 NC NAACP Presidential Award he’s recognized as one of
the most credible anti-gang, anti-drug activists and speakers by elected officials
and community leaders nationwide. In 2009, Vegas produced his notable book, “Campaign4Change Testimonials”, and composed a new curriculum,
“Street Life Education” DVD.
Vegas Don prevention and intervention methods has been used educating administrators and audiences on gang awareness throughout the state.
Vegas re-invents the wheel, his philosophy relates to the new generation which causes for new outreach methods. Vegas has developed well over twenty outreach initiatives to provide the community with resources, services, goods and hope.