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GHA brothers steam ahead into college

In 2013, brothers Elijah and Davion Mosley signed up for a new trial art program, the ‘Art Academy,’ offered by Gainesville Housing Authority in partnership with the Quinlan Visual Arts Center.

 See photos at right >

"I remember the boys very fondly coming to the first art sessions,"
 said class instructor Mary Frances Hull. "They were so good at creating and sculpting. One really liked sculpting and the other showed great drawing abilities. As they got older it was wonderful to hear news of them helping others painting murals." The Art Academy was launched by a grant from the Marta Chapman Memorial Foundation and Murrayville Veterinary Clinic.

Today, 2020: Davion, 20, begins his second year at the University of North Georgia’s Oakwood campus, and Elijah, 21, enters his third year at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.

The brothers grew up at Green Hunter Homes (aka Atlanta Street Apartments). There, the housing was decent, but often those hanging out on the property edges were not. Some brought gang activity, drugs, truancy, increased high school drop-outs rates and early age pregnancy.

Davion and Elijah, encouraged by their mother, instead got busy with programs offered at GHA’s community centers. “They were at our community center every time the doors were open. They came early and without even being asked, would help with the younger group,” said Jananne Waller, a Harvard-trained instructor who led several programs for the Gainesville Housing Authority from 2012 until the present. 

In one group, Awaken, Jananne and a half dozen volunteers helped kids five afternoons a week, serving up to 50 kids daily by offering homework help, coaching, career guidance and art classes, field trips and other activities.

“One day I got a call to distribute sandwiches (into public housing) from a local outreach. I was far away and Elijah and Davion volunteered to distribute. They texted me updates and got the job done!” Jananne said. Later, they assisted Jananne with instructing an entrepreneurship class and Davion also helped lead younger public housing children in painting 2 large murals. Also, he volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club.

Starting to college
“Davion actually walked over a mile to take the bus to classes at University of North Georgia. Rain or shine. Elijah persevered when everyone said going to a university was impossible,” said Jananne.

Today, the brothers are college sophomores and juniors, and their story helps inspire countless at-risk kids, and the community at large.

Congratulations to Elijah and Davion! We are so proud of you!

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