Gang Graffiti wiped out by youth group - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gang Graffiti wiped out by youth group

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Worth Co. hosts open house

    Worth Co. hosts open house

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:24:37 GMT
    It's already back to school time for some south Georgia students. Classes start tomorrow in Worth County.On Monday afternoon, all the schools held open houses for parents and students.At Worth County elementary, families got to met the teachers and get acquainted with the school.The Principal says the staff is ready, and parents told us they appreciated the open house."We are just going to keep going strong with things that we have done in the past, we had a very successful school year last y...More >>
    It's already back to school time for some south Georgia students. Classes start tomorrow in Worth County.On Monday afternoon, all the schools held open houses for parents and students.At Worth County elementary, families got to met the teachers and get acquainted with the school.The Principal says the staff is ready, and parents told us they appreciated the open house."We are just going to keep going strong with things that we have done in the past, we had a very successful school year last y...More >>
  • Lee Co. Woman speaks out about scary home invasion

    Lee Co. Woman speaks out about scary home invasion

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:20:11 GMT
    A Lee County woman says she'll think twice before opening her front door after a frightening home invasion.Tonya Stewart says Friday night a group of young people rushed inside her home and beat her up.Her husband ran to help. In the meantime, her 2-year-old niece suffered a busted lip.Stewart ended up with bruises and a black eye.“I just felt like my house was in danger and my life was in danger. I felt like I was gonna be killed or someone in my house was gonna be killed. I had a little gir...More >>
    A Lee County woman says she'll think twice before opening her front door after a frightening home invasion.Tonya Stewart says Friday night a group of young people rushed inside her home and beat her up.Her husband ran to help. In the meantime, her 2-year-old niece suffered a busted lip.Stewart ended up with bruises and a black eye.“I just felt like my house was in danger and my life was in danger. I felt like I was gonna be killed or someone in my house was gonna be killed. I had a little gir...More >>
  • Football coaches stress hydration as South Georgia heats up

    Football coaches stress hydration as South Georgia heats up

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:12:23 GMT
    Football is an intense, and grueling collision sport, and when South Georgia heats up, practice is even more stressful on the body."We don't wanna lose a kid because of the fact they are not hydrating themselves," says Monroe Head Coach Charles Truitt.That's why coaches stress the importance of staying hydrated on and off the field."We preach when they get home at night after football practice, to hydrate themselves and then we they get up in the morning hydrate themselves," says Truitt.After...More >>
    Football is an intense, and grueling collision sport, and when South Georgia heats up, practice is even more stressful on the body."We don't wanna lose a kid because of the fact they are not hydrating themselves," says Monroe Head Coach Charles Truitt.That's why coaches stress the importance of staying hydrated on and off the field."We preach when they get home at night after football practice, to hydrate themselves and then we they get up in the morning hydrate themselves," says Truitt.After...More >>

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Some middle school students from Florida are spending the last part of their summer vacation cleaning up the streets of Albany. So far this week, they've painted benches, volunteered at the FoodBank, and today, they spent their time wiping out gang graffiti throughout the city.

Gang members love to tag their name and symbols on buildings and signs. It gives them notoriety, marking their territory, but Thursday, much of their work was wiped out by others.

Montez Stephens grew up on the streets of Albany, and spent some time behind bars for the acts he committed out here.  He said, "One gang wanted to be badder than the other one so we could have a reputation about ourselves."

He got in a shootout with a rival gang member, and was charged with aggravated assault. He's lucky he didn't die that day. He said, "Reputation don't give a care about you when you're dead and gone."

Montez hasn't led a pristine life since he committed that crime, he's been locked up again. But he says he's changed. "I'm done with that," he said.  "I'm willing to step out and help out to these young kids in the community."

That's why Thursday, he joined up with a youth group that's in town from Jacksonville Beach Florida, to clean up graffiti in central Albany. They are here to serve others.

Lilly Mauti said, "Because we love serving the Lord and we love just being able to give back to the community and to just share the great word of God with everybody."

Cleaning up the city, one brush stroke at a time.  Kristi McPherson said, "To make the community a better place."

Getting paint on their hands, washing some of the crimes of the past off of others. Rob Johnston said, "There are some communities that we just feel we can help as well. We can get out there and do everything we can, it's great and also by going to another city, our kids are exposed to different things also."

And hopefully turned away from a life of crime and poor choices. It's a lesson Montez Stephens says he'll continue to spread.

This is the third year the youth group has come to Albany on a mission trip to help clean up the city. In addition to cleaning up graffiti, the youth group helped clean senior citizens yards and pick up litter in Albany.

©2010 WALB News. All rights reserved.   Feedback