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'Having a goal for life it's what they're being taught': Dublin program Legacy 88 aims to curb violence

It was started to honor the life of the late Demaryius Thomas. A former NFL star who was from Dublin who gave back to the kids in his hometown.

DUBLIN, Ga. — In Dublin, community leaders started a program called Legacy 88 to help curb violence. It was started to honor the life of the late Demaryius Thomas. a former NFL star from Dublin who frequently gave back to the kids in his hometown.

Not only does Legacy 88 provide activities for kids but it teaches them life skills such as responsibility, leadership and conflict resolution. The founders of Legacy 88, Teresa Holliday and Thomas Walker, started the program in 2021 to honor the life of Demaryius Thomas.

"Having a goal for life it's what they're being taught. Even though you see us having a good time they're playing basketball, the girls are cheering, they're learning," Holliday said.

Za'kiah Williams participates on the cheerleading team.

"It's fun if I be at home, I'm not going to have nothing to do. I want to go outside and play with other people too," Williams said.

Legacy 88 has partnered with Next Level, an organization that trains kids in football from 7th to 12th grade. 

Jamie Jackson volunteers for Next Level.

"If we can give these kids another example to go by give them another option to get to that next level," Jackson said.

Holliday and Walker have mentored young kids in the community for more than 25 years. Currently, they're helping around 200 kids and work with ages five to 7th grade. 

Some of the activities include, basketball, football and cheerleading as well as providing kids with academic resources.

Trantavious Stanley says through the program he's learned a lot of valuable life lessons. 

"Responsibility, keeping my grades up. Most important academics though," Stanley said.

Holliday hopes in the future to see the kids pay it forward.

"It's about them coming, learning, teaching, getting that information and then going away using it and bringing it back to this community," Holliday said.

Holliday says the Oconee gym is going to be renovated shortly. She hopes it  brings even more kids they can take under their wing.

If you're a parent interested in your kids joining the program, Legacy 88 meets twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Oconee Gym in Dublin.

They meet from 5:30p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Next level meets on Saturdays at 9 a.m. This Saturday is at Dublin High School.

Next Level is a non-profit looking for more funding. If you want to help out here is their cashapp.

Credit: 13WMAZ

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