MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Each Tuesday, as part of our Community Changers series, we highlight organizations making Memphis better.

This week, we caught up with a group giving new hope to kids looking for a second chance.

Therrin Wilson was fourteen years old when he was getting initiated into a gang. During that process, he was severely beaten.

“That was one of the scariest parts of my life. I’m pretty sure at some point during the initiation process, I could have died, Therrin said. “I just wanted to be a part of something. I didn’t have much guidance back them.”

The moment Therrin’s mom and aunt found out, they directed him to Camp Chambers. A nonprofit organization founded by Jimmy Chambers and his wife Ressie.

“We want to equip our young people with the tools they need to become productive members of our society. How do we do that? Hands on life skills, mentoring and community service is a big part of that,” Ressie said.

As for the hands-on life skills, Mr. Chambers believes in getting the kids back outside.

“That’s where you want to get them at so they can understand what hard work is all about,” Jimmy said.

Therrin remembers that all too well.

At the beginning, I was really frustrated. I’m like, ‘this man is crazy. Why am I out here cutting this much grass?’ Sometimes we would cut grass at abandoned churches,” Therrin said.
 
And sometimes, you just have to trust the process.

If we teach them hard work today, tomorrow, they’ll be better citizens, Jimmy said.

Camp Chambers was Therrin’s turning point.

“Mr. Chambers brought it back into perspective. He’s like, hey man, this isn’t you. Be you. Be whatever you’re going to do. Don’t try to impressive anybody,” Therrin said.

Therrin has since graduated from high school. He has earned a biochemistry degree from UT Knoxville, and he’s not done yet.

“I’m waiting until august to start optometry school to become an eye doctor,” Therrin said.

This is why our anonymous donor wanted to give camp chambers a thousand dollars.

Because when you show kids a different perspective, you make an amazing impact.

They are a true Community Changer