Heal the Hood presents $300 to Westside Middle student for essay on curbing youth violence

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:38 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - On Wednesday morning, Heal the Hood Foundation of Memphis traveled to Westside Middle School to kick off its 300,000 Heroes Global campaign along with The Wake Up Tour challenge.

Having run for 16 years now, The Wake Up Tour has been the longest-running positive school tour in the City of Memphis, reaching over 500,000 students in the tri-state area, and inspiring children to get out of gangs and make drastic lifestyle changes.

During the 55-minute motivational experience at Westside Middle, the foundation was able to surprise an essay winner with a $300 prize.

The winner was eighth grader Miracle Cole. The purpose of the essay was to collect ideas on how to battle youth crime and violence in their community.

Cole says, “When I first started writing the essay, I thought about, like, what kids at my school go through and what I’m going through and how it is living in Memphis.”

When Action News 5 asked what she was going to do with the money, she said she is going to give it to her mother.

Ladell Beamon, Founder and CEO of Heal the Hood Foundation says, “we’re on a journey right now, globally, to find 300,000 heroes. You would think we could do that right here in the city.”

Beamon also says that the foundation has plans to continue the tour to 25 other schools to help make a dent in crime and violence.

The foundation does have further plans to build a hero empowerment center for the city, which will be possible thanks to a gift from landowners outside of Memphis who gave the foundation over seven acres of land.

Beamon told us that they believe that kids have the solutions for the problem of tomorrow, today.

The next tour stop will be held on Friday, Jan. 20, at MLK College Prep High School at 1:30 p.m.

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