NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Nashville woman established a program to help teenagers within her community.
Kerry Hall recently introduced her dream to members of the community.
She held the first meeting of her newly formed organization HOTT (Help Our Troubled Teens) at Watson Grove Church in Nashville's Edgehill area.
Hall said she was inspired by the youth in her community.
"Nowadays, a lot of our kids are in trouble and they're our young people who are in trouble because they have nowhere to go nowadays or nothing to do," she said. "They have too much time on their hands."
That's why she invited the children and their parents to learn more about her plans.
"I started to put this program together because of a lot of kids that I know personally are in trouble with the law," she said. "And not only young people or teenagers. And a lot of kids in my community that I see everyday, just standing around, not doing anything when they get off the school bus. Most of the kids that I know have no place to go now."
She has big plans to offer the children a safe and educational place, similar to what she had when she was their age.
"When I was growing up, I had, like, community centers to go to, because they had a lot of activities going on in the community center," she said.
She said the cost to parents has made many of today's options out of reach.
"They range anywhere from $30-$100 a week for each child at an after-school program," she said.
That's why HOTT is free.
"Because I know. I'm a single parent myself and I know most parents have trouble paying application fees for each child that they have, late fees for each child that they have or even after-school program fees every week for each child that they have."
The parents who attended the meeting said they were impressed with the mission.
"Some parents I guess don't care what they kids do when they get out of school. But I'd rather that mine be in the program to help them learn more and teach them to stay out of trouble and stuff," said one parent.
HOTT plans to cover a lot of territory from tutoring to gang-resistant counseling.
Hall said she wants to "make a change in the young teen's life.
"Trying to support them," she said. "Get a group going so they can all come together and get off the streets and the gangs and stuff. Try something new for the younger generation."
HOTT, a non-profit organization, is hoping to get assistance from volunteers and sponsors who support her dream of keeping the kids on the right track.
"Nowadays, it's all about the young people in gangs, selling drugs, raping, robbing, killing and so I figure if I get the kids that's out there now that haven't got into trouble or have been in trouble to get them to come into the program," she said.
Because she wants them "to feel safe, to feel loved."
For more information about Help Our Troubled Teens, call 364-2824.