FRIDAY: Nonprofit invites teenagers to back-to-school lock-in


Decatur Aquadome

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DECATUR, Ala. - A nonprofit invites kids to an unconventional weekend set to establish focus and character.

"This weekend we'll be having a back-to-school lock-in for kids in 6th-12th grade," explained Terrence Baker, director of the Strengthening Integrity for Future Families, or S.T.I.F.F. Foundation.

The event is from 7 p.m. Friday through 7a.m. Saturday at the Aquadome Recreational Center found at 1202 5th Ave SW, Decatur, AL 35601.

Gospel rap artists and inspirational speakers complement movies, giveaways, and food; all pushing integrity while catering to teenage interests.

"At ten o'clock, we're going to let the kids have a basketball tournament," said Baker. "We'll have a makeup corner for the ladies, we'll have a corner teaching them hygiene. We have a barber also who will be cutting hair throughout the night."

The lock-in, and the whole organization, are personal projects of Bakers', following a shooting last year that hit close to home.

"S.T.I.F.F. was founded after the death of my best friend in November," explained Baker.

Thirty-year-old Brandon Harris was found shot to death in a car behind a house on Wadsworth Street.

The childhood friends went through a major life changing moment together in the very building where he plans to hold the lock-in.

"When we were younger, we actually attended a back to school lock in here, at the Aquadome."

Baker says he and Harris walked in as rebellious teenagers, but left with a closer relationship to God and a renewed sense of purpose, so he knows the difference it can make.

"[Harris and I] gave our lives to Christ, we got saved, that really helped us back when we were 6, 7, 8, 9th grade, so I made it a point to make sure S.T.I.F.F. brought this lock-in back."