At risk kids had the chance to tour the Knoxville airbase. This is part of a boot camp for kids to teach them self respect. According to the drill sergeants, it really works keep them off the street.
Ezra Mostella is 12 years old. He talks back to his mom, so she put him in Phillip Moore Outreach Center Boot Camp. Ezra Mostella says, "It's going to encourage me to be a better person and do better with my life and not be bad."
Ezra joins more than 20 other kids his age to learn respect, discipline, and self confidence from KPD officers. Qualities that will hopefully keep them off the streets. Director of Life Savers Frankie Slay says, "At risk of getting on streets, dropping out of school and going into crime and drugs."
Sgt. Shawn Neal has been a drill sergeant for 7 years. Sgt. Neal says, "I've built relationships with adults and they come up and give me tips. I'm approachable because they know me."
And in the end, after all the struggles and battles, the kids leave with something you can't put a value on. Sgt. Neal says, "You should see their chest swell when they walk across the stage and get their certificate."
Slay says, "They come scratching and screaming at first, but in the end they say thank you."
This is the 17th year for the boot camp.
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