CONTINUING COVERAGE: FLOODS OF 2016

Mentor of Run DSM Program Making Significant Impact on Young People

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Run DSM is a community organization that providing an outlet for youth in Des Moines. One of the premier programs is called Movement 515 and a leader in that program is proving to be much more than a mentor to many of the young people.

“I serve a god that is righteous so I might just start making moves instead of making fools,” said Words Taylor.

This is the creative art form that Taylor is teaching young people in Des Moines, and in doing so, giving them an outlet to express themselves.

From spoken word poems about singer Amy Winehouse to controversial subjects like race and police brutality, no topic is off limits.

“The goal is not to censor them, like when you see things on television or your social media, how does that make you feel? Now, we have a platform for you to get that out,” said Taylor.

Spend time with the group and it's clear that Taylor has a close bond with these youth, and that they have the highest level of respect for him.

“It’s very important to have that relationship because the goal is to build up our youth and get them to finally express what`s been holding them back,” said Taylor.

In many cases, these young voices of the future see Taylor not only as a mentor, but as something more.

“I never really had a father figure in my life also, so it really means a lot for him to step in that role and actually be there for me,” said Jaya Trogon.

“He`s been like a big brother to me,” said Russhaun Johnson. “I didn`t really know a lot of male role models who were African American that were doing spoken word poetry so like he was one of the first.”

Some of the young people in the program do plan on continuing to study the arts and spoken word in college and hope to be able to do it professionally one day.