CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee -(WDEF) A gang task force called 'The Future is Ours', is promoting a program that keeps at-risk kids out of trouble and away from gangs through music.
On a cold Tuesday evening, 15-year old G-Kay as he likes to be called is joining other teenagers at a music recording session. He along with the other talented teenagers are busy recording songs for an upcoming CD that is scheduled to be released on February 9th.
G-Kay said he use to get into trouble.
"I guess they call it gang affiliated," said G-Kay.
Now the only thing he gets into is music and school thanks to the Stars of Chattanooga music program sponsored by the gang task force.
"It's been great. I haven't been in any more trouble. My grades got better and I don't hang out with the same people I use to," he said.
Gang task force coordinator, Boyd Patterson said the music program is only a small part of a much greater plan to keep kids out of trouble and away from street gangs.
"You can't tell a kid to stay away from gangs and drugs if they don't have anything positive to go toward. Stars of Chattanooga is something very positive. It's something where kids can get status and they can get talent developed," Patterson said.
Everyday the kids meet up at the South Chattanooga Rec Center to practice for a concert at Hamilton Skate Place. The concert will also serve as their CD release party even though their music is already being played on a local radio station.
"That feeling just right there makes everything blow up in side of you so it's a good feeling," said a 17-year old participant who goes by the name Pashin.
Gang violence happens virtually every week in Chattanooga but leaders on the gang task force say if they can steer kids in the right direction, there would be less gang activity to investigate.