BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Soon, there will be a space for young people in the Gus Young area to thrive socially and academically.
The Youth Empowerment Zone is scheduled to open in the near future. Founders of the facility say they are within a few weeks of opening.
It is located inside of the MLK Community Center on Gus Young Ave.
The space is dedicated to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) innovation.
The facility has a science lab, media room, computer lab and a literacy library.
"In our community, kids haven't seen a lot of themselves," said Executive Director Jasiri Basel. "They're not very represented so what we wanted to do with this library is to allow them to see themselves. Books by black authors, content written from certain perspectives that they can kind of relate to. So the 1,000 Black Book Library is here, and it's kind of creative. It's kind of nice. You'll probably see some pictures of it, come by and visit."
The Youth Empowerment Zone also serves as a safe space for kids in the neighborhood to spend their time after school.
"The Youth Empowerment Zone is the future of innovation for our communities, for the communities that they say are having the problems with the troubled kids, with the things of that nature. It's just that they haven't been exposed to options. The Youth Empowerment Zone gives those options. It gives empowerment. It gives them the ability for the communities for the youth to get involved with various processes," Basel explained."
Basel said the facility is still in need of volunteers, mentors and donations.
If you are interested in getting involved, CLICK HERE.