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Maria Reyes is one of the original Freedom Writers. She spoke at Discovery Middle School on March 13.

The power of words

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It's true that the pen can be mightier than the sword - or the gun.

It's a lesson that Maria Reyes stressed to an auditorium full of enthralled students and teachers at Discovery Middle School (DMS) in Alexandria on Friday.

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"I came to understand the power of words," boomed the diminutive former gang member with the huge voice and powerful message.

Reyes, born in Los Angeles, California, knows firsthand that the right words can turn your life around.

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