Mother of slain teen starts youth organization

10:56 PM, Oct 8, 2010   |    comments
  • Taloni Stuart-Lee has started Eli's Escape.Org.
  • A gunman killed Elizajuan Smith-Stuart in August.
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Taloni Stuart-Lee walked in Austin-East High School's homecoming parade Friday afternoon.  It was an event her son should have participated in. 

"He loved being on that football team," Stuart-Lee said of her son.

A gunman cut Elizajuan Smith-Stuart's life short after football practice in August. Smith-Stuart played football at Austin East.

The football player's mother recently co-founded a youth organization called Eli's Escape.Org.  It keeps kids busy by teaching them film production, foreign language, computer repair and even chess.  It's one of several youth organizations helping kids in East Knoxville.

"It's an organization that empowers young males 9 to 19 years of age by tapping into their gifts and talents," Stuart-Lee explained.  "Most of the young males I run into really do not have anything to do.  We wonder why they're finding trouble or they're following things they should not be following."

She believes violence could be eventually stopped if kids are mentored and motivated.  You can learn more about the organization through their website.

Word of Life Ministries also hopes to stomp out violence.  They're hosting a Victory of Violence Parade and Rally" on October 16 at 3 pm.  Parade participants will lineup will be near Regas Restaurant in Downtown Knoxville and will end on the Market Square Mall where the rally will take place.  You can learn more about the parade and rally by clicking here.

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