A Green Country teen is staying busy this summer by helping make a difference in the lives of other teens.
What may be a broken-down building to some, to 16-year-old Aaron Abney, it represents hope and a way to give back to his community.
“We’ll have GED programs, parenting classes, tutors, counselors, different stuff like that where the kids can come and get more help. I plan to have drug and alcohol programs,” Abney said.
It's called the IceHouse Youth Project - ICE standing for "in case of emergency." His goal is to buy the building and turn it into a nonprofit youth center - a safe haven for teens.
He came up with the idea when he was 13.
Abney said a place like that is needed. He said he’s seen firsthand the effect drugs and alcohol can have on people.
"Cause I have family I saw their world get turned upside down and it was just devastating to us and my family," he said.
Not only is McAlester’s mayor pledging his full support, Abney said the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health is getting on board as well.
"It means the world to me, to see this building up and running as a youth center," the teen said.
Although Abney and his business partner have only raised about $2,000, he said the support from the community has been great, hoping to help those in need.
"Just starting something new to keep the kids off the street and keep them from getting addicted to drugs and alcohol would mean the world to me," Abney said.
Abney is confident they will reach the $250,000 goal. If you'd like to help, you can donate here.
You can also call 859-582-8395 for more information.