After-School Development Program Exposes Youth From Troubled Neighborhoods to Possibilities

On Wednesday morning, about 20 students gathered in a lower level room of the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas to act on their futures.

"So this is now our stage," said Antoine Joyce, city leader for the All Stars Project of Dallas. The program uses performance art to expose youth from some of Dallas' poorest neighborhoods to a world they might not otherwise see.

"I grew up poor in New York City," Joyce said. "You had to have a tough performance to kind of stay alive, but when you get into corporate America there's a different performance. Then, when you're at church, there's a different performance. There's even a different performance in school."

Cam'ron Mosley has been in the All Stars Project for three years. He said were it not for his father and All Stars, he might have gone down a troubled path that he's seen others walk.

"They feel like the only way they can solve their problems is to go get a gun, you know kill someone, take someone else's life to earn their respect," said Mosley, a 19-year old from Cedar Hill. "There's a lot of youth dying behind respect."

Mosley is in the All Stars leadership program. He will spend the summer in a paid business internship.

The All Stars Project connects youth with mentors and role models. On Wednesday, the reigning Miss America, Nia Franklin, spoke to the students.

"It's not just about the color of my skin," Franklin said. She is one of three women of color to hold major pageant titles this year. "It can be the norm."

"I was excited because I've never met Miss America," 8-year-old Maya Hill said, though she had a different goal for her future. "A scientist. Because I want to help people."

Contact Us