For its size -- Baltimore City as a population of roughly 621,000 -- Baltimore is one of the most violent crime and drug ridden cities in the country. There have been 28 homicides so far this year.
Pug said he has gotten used to seeing people walking around with guns, and has seen people get shot and stabbed on the street, but he doesn't pay attention to violent gangs.
"You gotta be careful out there, people get shot, sometimes for no reason, just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time," Pug said.
To him, the 12 O'Clock Boys are his role models and mentors.
"They taught me to stay in school, do all my work, pass my classes. They just taught me to focus on school, don't worry about bikes all the time," he said.
Pug said he wants to be a veterinarian when he grows up. He is bright and ambitious enough, but the road out of these rough Baltimore streets is lined with more obstacles that even the most skilled 12 O'Clock Boy could maneuver.
"He's a really smart kid, and I think he's pretty resourceful too, so I would hope that he would put it all into school, if he can. That's what I always tried to tell him," Nathan said. But "there's no easy out."