GARY - A Merrillville teen will host a fundraiser this week to build a youth center in Gary. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the ASW Foundation, founded by Aaliyah Stewart, will feature Northwest Indiana youth who have excelled in their communities at its Project Peace Youth Gala Friday.

Stewart founded the ASW Foundation four years ago in honor of her late brothers, Anthony White Jr. and James Anderson, who were shot to death in Gary at ages 16 and 20.

"I feel like in the city of Gary we are lacking opportunity, especially for kids from the age of 8 to 18," Stewart told the publication. "The environment is not clean, and it's not motivating. This will be a safe haven for kids in Gary." She added that a youth center may have provided needed guidance and support to individuals who end up taking the wrong path, and help to prevent tragic events.  

The nonprofit provides scholarships to college-bound Merrillville High School students, to give them the opportunity her brothers never had.

According to the publication, Stewart has met with city officials and is currently looking for a site for the planned center.

To read the full story from The Times of Northwest Indiana, click here.