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Baltimore's 'Challenge 2 Change' youth program hopeful for expansion

Posted at 5:57 PM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 18:02:55-04

BALTIMORE — "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Frederick Douglass' philosophy on empowering youth still rings true.

Terry Williams, who we introduced you to earlier this week put that idea into action showing us how he’s doing his part to change Baltimore’s future by challenging a group of young men.

"Who are we? Challenge 2 Change. What do we believe in? If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn't change you," the young men shouted in sync.

It’s a mantra the young men say everyday.

It’s the foundation Terry Williams, who they know as 'Uncle T' hopes they embrace for the rest of their lives.

There's a big disconnect with some of the young people in this city," Uncle T shared with the group.

He makes sure these young men connect to build a path forward together.

It’s brother love, make sure each other are good. Make sure when we go through something we get through it with each other," shared Karron Smith.

He is one of the older young men in the bunch who's been coming back every summer since his first year.

"He put me on a different road, a mindset. Show me how to get the money easily, how you can stay out of the streets, and become a better person. Be better for other people," Smith said.

Karron while he's learning the principles of manhood himself helps steer the younger guys in the right direction along the way like Kaelyb and Jy'shon.

"We talk about potential and identity and not everything is rewarded but everything comes at cost you know what I mean," Jy'Shon Stevenson told us.

One of the best things is spending time with everybody here. They’re like my brothers. I would want to do everything with them, especially Joshun. We're tight," said Kaelyb Nixon.

The current program, while it's proven to be effective, with only 1 of about 150 students ever being arrested, has some limits regarding the amount of young men he can serve at once...something he hopes proper funding can change.

He has a vision for a state of the art community center that hundreds of kids in Baltimore can be a part of.

But most importantly to serve as a hub for youth development and outreach, that one day kids like Kaelyb, Jy'shon and Karron can return and empower more of Baltimore's youth facing challenges, bound for change.

Challenge 2 Change is in need of funding and needs your help, click here for more information.

You can also find them on social media here.