FERGUSON, Mo. - The burned down QuikTrip on West Florissant is a symbol of sadness and lawlessness.
Just a few steps away is hope and purpose standing inside several college students.
"We want to embark change upon this community," Jaz Holley said. She's a student NAACP leader.
They said you have to understand things before you can turn burning of buildings into lessons.
"This is not a product of them being animals, this is a product of them being treated like animals, this is a product of them not having an outlet ," said Alfred Long Jr.
"Hurting people hurt people, they hurt people's businesses, people's cars, they are hurting," Holley said.
The college students say they understand why the looters and rioters created chaos. They didn't feel like they were heard, said the students.
They said they live with perceptions, everywhere they go.
"What you thought that was in your mind is what you perpetuate about us," Long said.
They are more than the color of their skin, and they spent the last few days proving it. They went door to door, business owner to business owner to pick up the trash, clear the debris, try to repair things. Not everybody was glad to see them.
"I asked for a broom, as I reached for the broom, he snatched it very hard and said, 'No, we got this' and said I know you are hurting as well," Tierra Brown said.
"The heartbreaking fact is that we cannot give them anything else because we look like the ones who harmed their businesses," Holley said.
They know the hurt runs deep, but they won't allow perception to become their reality.
The college students said they want people who feel disenfranchised and misunderstood to join them.They'll be on their door to door mission for the rest of the week.