"I'm a product of this area. I went to the same school--that abandoned school that the sheriff bought. So I know exactly what they're going through."
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office is making strides in Donaldsonville through programs benefiting the youth. Programs like the basketball camp they hosted this weekend at the Wag Center are aimed at making kids in the community better citizens.
The basketball camp taught these 61 kids sportsmanship on and off the court, through lessons in bully prevention.
"I'm just trying to make them better citizens, let them know that what they're doing matters," said Lieutenant Mike Brooks, the coordinator for the Wag Center.
The neighborhood surrounding the Wag Center was previously declared the worst neighborhood for crime in the parish. However since the Wag Center opened about two years ago, crime in the surrounding neighborhood has dropped by 42 percent, said Brooks.
This is more than a statistic for Lt. Brooks, who grew up in that same neighborhood where he helps kids today.
"I'm a product of this area. I went to the same school--that abandoned school that the sheriff bought. So I know exactly what they're going through," said Brooks.
Kids can visit the Wag Center for a quiet place to study or hang out, where computers and a small library are available for them to use. The center also hosts several events throughout the year, like the basketball camp.
"We have a great bunch of kids out there," said Brooks.
For more photos from the WAG Basketball Camp, click here.