Amid the city of Dallas' most violent year in decades, summer youth programs are offering a refuge for teens who might otherwise be in harm's way.
In recent weeks, multiple teens in Dallas have died by homicidal violence and in at least one case, a teen was an innocent bystander.
The Dallas Independent School District hopes their summer outreach programs will serve as a way for kids to not just find a safe place but somewhere they can learn and grow.
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"Part of what we have to do are give them creative outlets to handle those stressors," Lori Griffin, Director of DISD's Extended Learning Opportunities said.
A free three week summer program offers students exposure to multiple facets of the arts including film, theatre and music.
"This program and many programs like it, it forces you to grow," former student and now intern Keandre Keeling said.
Keeling and others believe the program is more important now than ever and while a solution to the current wave of violence in Dallas remains elusive, outreach programs can help.
"You have to ask yourself, if this program and programs like it weren't in place what would kids be during the summer," Griffin said.