A group in St. Louis is working with a few dozen young men to keep them occupied and off the streets. Its ultimate goal is to get these young people to college.
"I had a pretty bad anger problem before I joined the program. And I was pretty lazy. I had a problem applying myself and controlling my temper all the time," says Tyale McNary.
Tyale is part of two of North County's elite step teams. The Young Men of Vision for middle schoolers, and Gentlemen of Vision for high schoolers.
Aaron Dixon is also on the team. "It has helped me by bringing my grades up, calming me down with my attitude and my temper, and disciplined me and showed me how I can do things better."
"We teach them steps. We take them out of town. A lot of them have never left St. Louis City. So once they go out of town they get to see new things and experience new things and that opens their eyes to a lot of unlimited potential," says Kevin Baker, one of the Co-Founders.
There's another reason students want to be in these groups. They've won national competitions.
"The best part is stepping because we're really winners and I call ourselves the best. I don't like to brag, but it's really fun," says Jeremiah Bailiff.
Stepping is just part of what they do. These guys are tutored, mentored, and they must do community service to stay in the group.
Co-Founder Kevin Baker started the non profit group in 2009. He says he wanted to combat challenges and temptations so many young people face, like gangs and peer pressure. "When you turn on the radio, you hear about being a pimp. You hear about thugging in the club and things like that. It's all around them. To challenge those things, we want to surround them with positive things."
Baker says 100% of GOV graduates have gone on to some form of higher education. The group once practiced at various schools in the Riverview District, but we're told the schools have stopped them from practicing there. Right now they are looking for a permanent home.
To learn more, visit their website.