Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Youth Visions - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Youth Visions

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Alex Bolar, the Frayser teen shot and killed in a city park earlier this month was a latch key kid, according to his father.  Ironically, just a little more than 100 yards away from the place where Alex died, Frayser's Youth Visions welcomes latch key kids every school day.

"We have an after school program here," said Youth Visions' Marron Thomas. "Club programs, college prep programs, just a variety of programs to empower youth to become leaders."

The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation, which recently donated a new basketball court to Youth Visions, focuses almost exclusively on mentoring. Programs like Youth Vision serve Memphis' countless latch key kids.

"We can stop some of the violence that's happening if we just spend some time with the children," said the Grizzlies Foundation's Teresa Dickerson. "They just want someone to spend some time with them."

Bolar lived within easy walking distance of Youth Visions. According to Thomas, Bolar visited from time to time, but his brother was a regular who benefited greatly from programs designed specifically for children from single parent households: 

"A lot of times when you come from those type of situations, young people feel there's a limit on what they can do," Thomas said. "And so we want to give life to young people and let them know that in spite of where you come from, you can make it."

Kids on the wall outside Trezevant High say there's plenty of after-school activities on campus as well as at Youth Visions. Now, they miss their classmate:

"He was like, real cool," Keisha Bridges said. "He was real smart."

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