MILWAUKEE — Two Milwaukee teens are proving that you do not have to be an adult to give other kids support. They are reaching out to foster kids in a way that is Positively Milwaukee.
Recently an outing pitted teens against adults. It was a basketball game that scored points for our youth. The matchup was a fundraiser for All4Kidz. It's a non-profit support group for foster kids.
"We always have fun, but at the end of the day, we make sure we get down to business," said Deangelo Lee-Alexander.
David Easterly, 15, and Lee-Alexander, 17, are peer counselors for All4Kidz. Both are wise beyond their years.
"There's no negativity coming out of All4Kidz. It's all positivity!"
Lee-Alexander's mom, Santana Lee, founded AllForKidz. He knows the hard work she puts into the organization. "She has some long days. Sometimes she stays up till midnight planning something and wake up at six in the morning."
Santana Lee takes care of three cousins in addition to her six biological children. "I'm honored to be in their life. I'm honored they open up and let me in," said Lee.
Her teen helpers are inspired reaching out to youth. Listen to what one man said to Deangelo. "He told me, 'Thanks for everything you did. ... I liked being around you' ... and that touched me, I thought I was just helping him out ... and it was deeper to him."
Both preach patience and persistence. They know teens in foster care often endure trauma.
"We come with a positive energy just to set the tone, so if somebody (is) down we're keeping our heads up just to set the positive energy." — Deangelo Lee-Alexander
"Somebody could have just gotten bullied and they have a nasty attitude. Sometimes it takes someone to say, 'How you doing, what's going on?' Some people just need somebody to talk to, somebody they can trust and vent to," said Easterly.
He adds, "A lot of young men block people out and say, 'I got this myself.' Sometimes even if you are a man it's good to express your feelings."
Lee-Alexander adds, "We come with a positive energy just to set the tone, so if somebody (is) down we're keeping our heads up just to set the positive energy."
If you would like to support efforts to help our foster kids and donate to AllForKidz, go to the TODAY'S TMJ4 links page at TMJ4.com.