Teens painting a brighter future for their community

Teens create mural in Smoketown

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It’s an empty gray building, covered in graffiti.  But when you turn the corner, a group of kids bringing color back into their neighborhood.

“This community is bad and we want all these kids to come together and see all of this,” Lul Magor said, a student.

He's talking about is a beautiful mural that will be the center piece of a community center focusing on providing free art classes to Smoketown kids.

“I was going through a hard time and this was my way to focus not on all the bad stuff,” Alexis Fromm said, a student.

It's a project that started two years ago, flipping this abandoned liquor store, into what will soon be called the STEAM Exchange.

“Every day that we're out here there are people who stop and tell us how amazing this looks and how excited they are and how proud of them they are for doing this,” Caitlin Kannapell said, STEAM Exchange co-founder.

Less than a month ago, 14-year-old Troyvonte Hurt was shot and killed a block away from the new community center and many of these kids say they knew him well.  They say they hope their hard work will prevent another teen from being shot.

“We can help each other out, like come to a community and get all the kids together instead of just like lingering around with anybody.  We can come and have fun and paint and stuff,” Tonijaziana Franklin said, student.

A group of kids, painting a bright future in the neighborhood they're proud to call home.

“I'm proud because we're changing the community.  Kids can come play outside and they don't have to worry about shooting and they can just have fun,” Achol Deng said, a student.

They hope to have the center open within the next two months.  They've gotten tons of donations from local businesses and now they're just putting the finishing touches on the building. 



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