Volunteers, music make difference in juvenile mentoring program - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Volunteers, music make a difference in juvenile mentoring program

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The Department of Juvenile Justice officials wants volunteers to work with kids in Regional Youth Detention Centers.

They say mentoring can turn young people away from crime and make communities safer.

Tiffany Thomas is a hip hop singer and musician, whose band, Unbreakable Bloodline, is becoming pretty well known in South Georgia. Sharing her love of music at the Albany RYDC has become her passion.

Tiffany Thomas says she quickly learned many kids in the Albany Regional Youth Detention Center have great musical talent.

"There is something that is in them," said Thomas "They are releasing. They are writing. They are manifesting other thoughts besides gang banging."

Like the garden being grown in her neighborhood, Thomas thinks more people caring about children will make it a better and safer place. She was surprised to see two kids from her neighborhood in the center and she wanted to help.

State officials want more people like Tiffany to show children in custody that someone cares about them.

"People want to be loved. They want to feel like they are part of something," said Volunteer Director Latera Davis. "So if you give them a positive outlet and they will connect to something positive. Instead of reaching out to negative things like gangs, and anti-social behavior."

Thomas said rap and music helped her connect with kids behind bars.

Thomas said "To inspire you to want to be better. That you have options that things can be better. That people do care for you."

State officials say you shouldn't be scared by razorwire and bars. Behind them are children, ages 12 to 17, who need help. Thomas said it's like the neighborhood garden.

A little care will help young seeds to grow, while those thrown into the street and forgotten will not.

Juvenile Justice officials say you don't have to be a hip hop singer, just willing to give a little time to help a kid who may need it.

Learn more about the program here.

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