Denison teen spends summer working to give back to community

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DENISON, TX -- While most teens are spending their summer hanging out with friends, doing activities, or just enjoying their vacation, one Denison boy is putting his time to good use.

While most people wouldn't look twice at this vacant home in Denison,16-year-old Alex Kemp saw it as an opportunity.

He saw it as an opportunity to help out someone in need.

"I like helping people and this project is for battered women with or without children, or families that need a new start," Kemp said.

On Monday, the Denison City Council approved Kemp to renovate and remodel the house at 51 Parnell Street.

He says he got the idea for this project when he and his mother made a donation to a shelter and he says he noticed how small it was.

"I want to do this project because there's a shelter out here but it's small," Kemp said. "I think it would be better to have homes for families who don't want to be in a shelter and just to help people get back on their feet."

Kemp is already working with local organizations to get involved, and he plans to ask for help from Home Depot and Lowe's as well.

Kemp's mother, Delia, says she is proud of her son for taking the initiative to start a project this big.

"It shows me that at 16, he is already an amazing person," Delia said. "He has a heart of gold and is putting it to good use, and with the way he is, it won't be the last."

Mayor Jared Johnson and other council members commended Kemp for his leadership and say it's teens like Kemp who will make Denison successful.

"You know if we can get more and more young people to be like Alex to start getting involved and plugging in, it becomes a place that those folks and these young kids will want to come back and call Denison home," Johnson said.

For Kemp, the motivation is simple.

"Just to get that feeling that you helped change something in the community," Kemp said.

Kemp says he plans on placing donation jars around town or anyone who'd like to donate to the project.

If you would like to help out, you can contact Alex at

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