MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - For nearly three years, the Heal the Hood foundation has been giving teens in Memphis a chance to showcase their talents through music, dance, and now writing.
According to Heal the Hood founder LaDell Beamon, teens who participate in the non profit's programs have written about their experiences over several years, and now the compilation has been turned into a book: How the Hood was Healed.
The stories are first hand accounts of the trouble the teens have faced, and how they have managed to stay out of trouble.
"They talk about when there were no other family members around, there were listening ears, giving them so many different projects and hands on experiences," Beamon said. "They could tell their stories, act out their dreams, they could live it out...so to hear those stories, fleshed out in the book, is amazing."
Beamon believes Heal the Hood has helped hundreds of inner-city kids by exposing them to life outside of their everyday environment and giving them the option to choose a different path.
"They're in the hood coming up with gang bangers - some of them were gang members," Beamon said. "And here they are, they're faced with a challenge, to say 'you can't do this' is 'you're going to choose this path.'"
Beamon said it is a struggle for children to make the right choice, but he believes the book shows it's a battle that can be won.
Click here to visit the book's website.