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Teens and other St. Louisans get money for projects to make city a better place

Participants in the Good Journey Development Foundation with mentors and instructors
The Good Journey Development Foundation
Participants in the Good Journey Development Foundation with mentors and instructors

If you want to come up with a good idea for teen lives, why not ask a teenager?

That’s what a group called The Good Journey Development Foundation does. A group of 13-to-17-year-olds brainstormed a plan for a center offering employment and education tips, along with life-skills training.

Good Journey recently received $300 in seed money for the project from another organization called Better Billion, working to make St. Louis a better place to live.

On Monday morning, St.  Louisans can hear from the Good Journey kids and other Better Billion winners at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen meeting.

Good Journey founder Dionne Ferguson said the youth center concept, called the Kingdom Association, would fill a need that’s not being met.

“There are places young people can go to play sports; there are after-school programs,” Ferguson said. “But there is no place that is talking about fully engaging and developing them.”

The center would help with job-finding skills, college funding and entrepreneurship. Eventually, planners hope to make the space into an incubator for student-launched businesses.


Ferguson is proud of the teenagers who conceived the concept.

“It is our responsibility as the adults who hold the power, to make space for them, to make room for them so that they can contribute and then it will make society better,” she said.

Two other projects received money from Better Billion. The top prize, $1,000, went to an urban farming plan and $150 for a community development corporation.

Follow Nancy Fowler on Twitter: @NancyFowlerSTL

Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.