FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Over 150 Broward County Public School students gathered  to help promote peace and community in South Florida.

The chalk painting festival called Chalk4Peace was held on September 17th at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale.

The event which is part of the Choose Peace/Stop Violence initiative was meant to bring together community members and spread a message of inspiration to others.

Former Miami Dolphin Davone Bess surprised the students with his guest appearance.

Davone Bess, former Miami Dolphins player (Left), Maria Hernandez, Vice President of Programs with United Way of Broward County (Center), Gonzalo Cadima, Senior Director at United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse (Right)(Photo Courtesy of www.UnitedWayBroward.org)

Davone Bess (Left), Maria Hernandez (Center), Gonzalo Cadima (Right) (Photo Courtesy of http://www.UnitedWayBroward.org)

Bess spoke to the students about handling peer pressure, managing anger, refusing to join gangs, respect and peace. He also gave personal anecdotes about the roadblocks in his life, but his positive outlook helped him overcome them. Bess encouraged the students to “always keep moving forward in the right direction.”

Choose Peace/Stop Violence is a county-wide violence prevention initiative, meant to promote educational opportunities for youth and families to thrive in healthy neighborhoods.

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