Stop the violence talent show helps keep youth off the streets

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Austin youth performed praise dances, impersonations and rap songs at the Final Explosion TPA talent show, in an effort to get young people off the streets and keep them out of harm’s way.

Latyana Wilson, hip-hop and praise dancer, said she asked all her friends to attend the April 27 “Stop the Violence” event to support the cause.

“We really want to get the kids off the streets and into more work, school, education … just to have a successful life,” Wilson said.

Organizers of the event said performers began practicing for the show last November. More than 200 tickets were sold for the event held at Frederick Douglass High School, 543 N. Waller Ave.

“There wasn’t any extracurricular activities in the neighborhood for my girls to attend, so I put my own team together,” said Latricia Walker, founder of Final Explosion TPA. “I attended a school where we did theatrics and performances all the time – so I was used to it.”

Walker, a graduate of Englewood Tech Prep Academy, said she used Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about the talent show.

A mother of one performer said she hears too often about innocent children being gunned down when she turns on the news.

“It’s just ridiculous … these children are our future,” Angelica Torres said. “This talent show is good for them. It keeps them busy, occupied and off the streets.”

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