News – The Vermilion
A University of Louisiana at Lafayette student is looking to bring change to the Lafayette community with a movement he created called, “Sell Hope Not Dope.”
Originally from Georgia, John Vaughn is a 24-year-old transfer student studying petroleum engineering. After growing up in an inner-city environment filled with drug use and violence, Vaughn found himself making problematic choices and spending his time with the wrong people.
When he put his troublesome past life behind him in 2013, he started thinking about how he could make a difference in the lives of children who were facing the types of issues he had faced.
“Some of the youth in Atlanta are so troubled and lost,” Vaughn said, “so ‘Sell Hope Not Dope’ was a movement I came up with to recognize those kids who are actually dealing with drug problems — those kids who are faced everyday with gang involvement or gun violence.
“The original goal of ‘Sell Hope Not Dope’ was to get those kids to see life in another way, to share with them my experience and outlook and to lead them away from the negative choices they make,” he elaborated.
Since its beginning, Vaughn and his “Sell Hope Not Dope” team have done multiple giveaways in Atlanta, including a back-to-school giveaway for the residents of the Allen Temple apartment complex.
Additionally, Vaughn has organized holiday giveaways with the help of South Carolina State Alumni, who overall donated more than 200 gifts for children in need.
He also enlists the help of his influential entertainment friends, such as comedians Mike Epps and DC Young Fly, as well as music artist Hot Boy Turk.
“Having the help of rappers and comedians, it always helps the kids to stay motivated, and it shows them that there are other options out there,” explained Vaughn.
In the next few months, Vaughn said he hopes to get the …