18-year-old Detroit teen DeAngelo Hughes is taking the pain that he felt when his mother passed and channeling it to help heal others.

“Here in the city of Detroit, we lose someone on a day to day basis,” he said. “This is something that is serious here in the city of Detroit. Us youth, we hold in all of our emotions and kids don’t know who to talk to about these things.”

Hughes realized that he could do something about what he felt when he began to work with The Future Project — an organization that works with schools across the country to unlock the inner passions and purposes of students. Through this organization, he learned of Raenuka Reneau, a Harlem teen who founded the Flutter Foundation after her mother passed.

Hughes knew that he needed to bring Flutter to Detroit, and so he did. With Reneau as his mentor, Hughes founded the Detroit Flutter Chapter. The foundation primarily exists as a digital platform, but Hughes has found ways to expand it. Most recently, he spoke to more than 200 9th graders at East English Village Preparatory Academy, the school which he attends.

“I wanted to create this project so that no one else feels the way I felt when I lost my mom,” said Hughes. “We all as youth can come together and share our stories among each other, find a sense of hope and comfort and find people who are going through the same obstacles we’re going through.”

Currently, Hughes seeks to make the Detroit Flutter a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and is seeking funding.

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