Hometown Hero: Terry Dumphord, The Voyage Movement
BOURBON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A man in Bourbon County founded a nonprofit known as The Voyage Movement. He launched the idea while in federal prison to give back to his neighborhood, particularly the youth.
“I made a lot of mistakes in my life and what I realized was that I wanted to give back,” said Terry Dumphord, founder of The Voyage Movement.
That’s how Terry Dumphord launched The Voyage Movement – a small, multipurpose center in Paris – formerly Oliver’s Grocery Store, also known as Eddie B’s.
Standing on the street corner of the center, Dumphord reflected on his former days, when he did something very different in the same spot.
“This area used to be a high crime area. We used to hang out here and sell drugs,” explained Dumphord.
Now, using his own life experiences, Dumphord hopes this center provides a safe space for youth by encouraging them to be role models themselves.
“How do you display your best attributes if you’re a citizen of heaven,” asked Dumphord. “What does that require? So we plant those type of mindsets in youth, like you have to be the example wherever you’re at of how you treat each other. We just do that by simply displaying love.”
The center also incorporates games and educational lessons.
“We work closely with Paris High School so we want to do GED tutoring, we want to do mentoring for some of the troubled youth,” said Dumphord.
It’s an effort to prevent another tragedy like the shooting death of former high school athlete Jekobi Wells, in December.
“He was murdered right down the street and it really affected the community because he was a young man who had a bright future,” said Dumphord. “I felt like we failed him, you know what I mean? When that happened, it really woke everybody up and it made everyone really, really start to take accountability and responsibility for our youth.”
Using a faith-based approach, the center also has a storefront for anyone in need. Everything is on a donation basis for those in need to take what they need.
From drinks and snacks to clothing, Dumphord said, “We also have a pantry in the back where we box up food for our families. We have individuals who drop off clothes. We don’t have a lot of space but we’re making use of every inch of it.”
While it’s only been open since March, Dumphord says he’s already seen the impact.
“I had a young man tell me the other day, I never had this type of love. I never had this type of interaction with somebody that just showed me they only want me to win and they don’t want anything from me but that for you to succeed,” shared Dumphord. “And when you show them that genuine care, love and devotion, for them, with nothing in return or exchange but the fact we want you to win, I think that goes a long way.”
It’s a center that’s come full circle.
“If we all walk and move with a purpose of actually trying to help our fellow person out, I think the world would be a better place. And I think that’s on us all to make it that place,” said Dumphord.
If you know a hometown hero, submit a nomination HERE or email ABC 36’s Erica Bivens: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Voyage Movement is always looking for donations, particularly healthy snacks right now, as well as services. If you can help, contact The Voyage Movement HERE.