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2 Asheville School seniors took civil rights pioneer’s words and ran with them

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Two rising seniors who launched Camp Good Trouble at Asheville School were on a mission to help young people. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Words matter. Sometimes they have the power to impact generations.

Two rising seniors who launched Camp Good Trouble at Asheville School were on a mission to help young people.

Nicole Alleyne and Maggie Chang are News 13’s Persons of the Week.

"As volunteers, we have an obligation to see something in our community and do something about it,” Alleyne said.

"Getting to know what's around you, you feel a lot more grounded,” Chang said.

They spearheaded the camp for Asheville youth, including many who live in public housing.

"I come from a position of privilege in a lot of ways,” Chang said. “I get to come to this school and I have an awesome education and a lot of people simply just don't have that."

The goal of Camp Good Trouble was to empower children of color.

They were inspired by a guest speaker who appeared at Asheville School earlier this year.

Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights pioneer, gave them a spark.

"He was mandating it, he said it was an obligation to go out and 'make good trouble.' That's his catchphrase,” Alleyne said. "It stuck with me, and I knew that's what we had to name the camp."

What campers learn may pale in comparison to what the camp creators took away.

"I've had several mentors in my life who have made me who I am today,” Alleyne recalled. “And when I see that someone may not have the same resources to mentorship, I think that's a problem."

"When you see someone in a different situation than you, it makes you grateful for what you have,” Chang said. “But it also lets you know how you can use it. And I think Camp Good Trouble is a really good example of that."

They encourage kids to make a difference and their voice, just as Alleyne exhausted hers.

"I'm losing my voice, and I think that's really special because I finally found something worth losing my voice for. I think that's awesome!” she said, hoping a week of great fun this summer leads up even more “good trouble.”

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