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TEDxAtlanta to send hundreds of O4W kids to camp | News

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TEDxAtlanta to send hundreds of O4W kids to camp

ATLANTA, Ga. -- TEDxAtlanta is a creative non-profit that grants wishes for a variety of worthy causes and innovative ideas. This year its mission is to send hundreds of under-privileged kids in the city's Old Fourth Ward to summer camps and internships.

Many of the kids live along the Boulevard corridor in the O4W.

The busy Boulevard artery connects a half-dozen of the wealthiest Intown Atlanta neighborhoods. Yet the corridor itself has mostly been immune to the redevelopment and gentrification all around it.

In an effort to change that, 2012 has been dubbed the Year of Boulevard by local city councilman Kwanza Hall, and through fundraisers and clean-ups, neighbors are reaching out to this community in distress.

And through TEDxAtlanta, money is being raised to send more than 300 kids there to summer camp, internships, and mentoring programs.

"It's a community that's surrounded by wealth and often ignored," said Jennifer Graham, a TEDxAtlanta member and Social Innovation Designer with Unboundary. 

TEDxAtlanta (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design) brings together a pantheon of sharp minds from all over the city and from many disciplines to select good ideas that can be adapted and applied all over the country.

"So it's a way that TED can apply its talents, not just to the greatest ideas happening in the world, but something that's happening in our own backyard," Graham said.

A raging apartment fire destroyed the local community center along the Boulevard corridor years ago, leaving a vacant lot and an empty hole in the heart of the corridor.

Most of the kids who live in the area have had little to do for summer enrichment.

"When the school bell rings, they're not as anxious to leave," said Govantez Lowndes, who's on the TEDxAtlanta Organizing Committee and is the Executive Director of Unboundary. 

"Because it's a safe haven for them, and it's a place where they can count consistently on people having expectations of them and getting the things they need from nourishment to encouragement," Lowndes said.

Lowndes says summer camp would offer many of the kids the same kind of experience.

But they still need your help to reach their goal of $100,000 for the camps.

If you'd like to help O4W's kids, click here.