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Heroes Empowerment Center aims to keep teens on the right path

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Everywhere Michael Jackson looks in Hickory Hill there are what he calls "negative influences."

"Constantly rapping about drugs or constantly rapping about sex," said Ladell Beamon with the Heal the Hood Foundation.

Beamon told WREG it's leading many down the wrong path.

On Monday, he cut the ribbon on a new facility aimed at changing that: the Heroes Empowerment Center.

"Really it`s about turning villains or potential villains into heroes."

Teens can come by and check out computers, play instruments and even create their own music.

There is only one condition.

"No kid can come in and record anything with foul language, cursing or being disrespectful."

Before the music-making can start, the kids have to pay a $25 annual membership fee.

For Nikita Smiley, it's money well spent.

"If they have somewhere positive to be at and positive people around them, then of course, positive will come out."