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"We're building on the future" | Knoxville Area Urban League talks supporting young people

Part of the Knoxville Area Urban League's work is rooted in building up young people.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — We started The Urban League Impact Week highlighting the legends, those who fought for desegregation, love and equality. We shed some light on change-makers like Sarah Moore Greene, Rev. Harold Middlebrook and many more.

"The Urban League could not exist without the legends who contributed to the success of the Urban League," president and CEO Phyllis Nichols said.

However, according to Nichols, the work also includes investing in the future.

"Resiliency, that's the thing I have seen with our scholars this year," education and youth services coordinator Janea Peterson said. "I have been inspired by how resilient they are and able to roll with the punches."

She works specifically with the National Achievers Society, a program primarily for 10th, 11th and 12th grade students.

"The whole purpose of it us to make sure they understand that education is a gateway to success that is something we believe," she said. 

Students like Aaliyah Riddle who the Urban League awarded the Empowered Youth of the Year Award.

"They sent me a laptop and official letter and I also got a glass trophy," Riddle said. 

The Urban League also has a program called Shoes for School, which provides thousands of shoes, book bags and school supplies for students each. Ebony Petty works on that project but its mission is personal for her.

"I am a single mother and at the time, I was trying to get back on my feet when I heard about Shoes for School," she said. "I later put in my application and now I work for Shoes for School."

She said for many families, all it takes is one person being willing to lead you a helping hand to make all of the difference.

"Just to have that support, knowing that you have individuals who are not just doing it to be seen but who know the need, it really is a blessing," she said. 

You can learn more about the Urban League's programming and how you can donate here. You also won't want to miss the virtual Urban League Impact even on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. Info below. 

Credit: WBIR

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