‘Turning water into ice’ | Nonprofit aims to hire Atlanta water boys, youth

Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 11:59 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - From shootings to fighting, police have connected the infamous, self-proclaimed water boys of Atlanta to a list of crimes over the years. But a new local organization says it was specifically created to be a solution.

At 2185 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr, the white building lettered with “no tobacco, no alcohol, no gambling, no violence,” has no menu item but ice.

“I am pre-packaging cups for our store so we can go to the park and sell, " 16-year-old Tremain Hutchinson explains in the back of the shop.

Hutchinson is employed at Glaciers Ice. It’s a means to keep his hands and heart focused on business and building a better community.

“I want to be an entrepreneur, as well. Where I can see my own things and help more people,” he adds. Adding, “I rather stay on the right path than go down the wrong one.”

While there’s been a history of metro Atlanta teens during the summer finding profits on the streets selling water, Ian Elmore-Moore recalls the “water boys” crime scenes over the years.

“A young man was murdered, another was hit by a car, most recently an officer was punched in the eye. I said, ‘what can be done,’” Elmore-Moore questioned.

So, he turned water into ice. Glaciers not only hires youth but mentors them into entrepreneurship.

It includes tutoring and character development. And Elmore-Moore partners with Jalani Traxler and Mattew McKinney to make it all happen.

Traxler says, “as Black men, being examples to not just our children but children in our community.” McKinney echoed, “With a good system, we will literally save a lot.”

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Eight teens are already involved and they’re hoping for dozens more. It comes as Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens launched his initiative to employ 3000 youths this summer to deter violence. It’s a move city leaders want to see continue year-round.

“If not us, who is going to do it, who is going to create the change in our community that we wish to see,” Elmore-Moore explained.