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It’s impossible to have a conversation with Tru2You founders Joseph Gray and Dominique Miller-Shell without being inspired. Both men radiate an infectious positivity. Born and raised in Lancaster City, they feel uniquely equipped to inspire the youth of Lancaster. “When I was in school, I didn’t feel like adults were vested in my creativity, so we want to bridge that gap with Tru2You,” says Miller-Shell. By connecting the Lancaster City youth to local artists and community leaders, the mentors and coaches Gray and Miller-Shell hope to inspire the next generation to express themselves through art. Sometimes using their creative gifts in poetry and spoken word, other times using public speaking and excerpts from their upcoming book: 99 Days of Affirmation, the two friends are the support they wished for as teenagers. “Our mission statement is ‘to inspire, encourage, and galvanize the minds of individuals to become the best version of themselves,’” says Gray. The overall goal is to foster artistic expression and emotional literacy that translates into civic engagement demonstrated in their Block-Rite program.
Tru2You builds a youth team to provide lawn care, snow removal, and clean-up in their neighborhood. “It started on the northeast side, and now it’s going into all the different pockets of the city. We are doing our best to work in conjunction with the city government to find out what areas need change and trying to encourage neighbors to get outside and help us take ownership of our community,” says Miller-Shell. The team keeps it fun, with music and live entertainment for the public areas, and invites the rest of Lancaster City residents to join in. They are doing their part to give back by being the truest versions of themselves, and they hope that you would do the same.
If you would like to learn more about Tru2You, you can visit their website Tru2Y0u.org (the “o” in “you” is a zero) or follow them on Instagram @Tru2Y0u