Pay It Forward: Jenny Lear

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Ten West is a not for profit, whose mission is to help youth stay creative through art, music, dance and anything else you can imagine.

The organization is housed in a 100-year-old building that was first home to two churches in Fortville. Lear is a huge fan.

“Oh my goodness I was so excited.  I thought 'wow!'"

That was her reaction when she learned her essay was a finalist for the challenge that could end up winning $5,000.

Ten West is the brainchild of the Okerson family. Andrew Okerson said when music and the arts were getting cut from schools they knew something had to be done.

"We wanted to be a place where students could come get that aspect of education no matter what happens with our public schools."

His family found the building, but at 100 years old, it needed a lot of work.

"We spent the first four years just making it so people could come in.”

There was no running water in the building, every piped had burst and walls needed to be replaced. Now 1,000 people a month come through their doors.

With the $200, Lear helped put on two free art classes and a Taekwondo class, but it didn't stop there.

The instructors then paid it forward not charging anything for the classes and gave students a free summer session of art and a free month of Taekwondo.

Now the $5,000 grand prize is on their mind.

"For something our size, that is a huge amount."

And Okerson knows exactly what they will do with the money.

"Currently we have stairs in our entrances so one of our earmarked projects for when we get a donation of this type is to put in a handicap ramp."

And Lear is hoping you will vote for Ten West.

"I want to be able to help so many more kids."

Ten West kids are putting on Seussical the Musical which runs April 28-30.

Click here to cast your vote!