Nickelodeon star Leon Thomas, who has been in town since Friday night promoting fundraising efforts for the teen center and its initiatives, made a surprise visit Tuesday night at the center.
In addition to raising funds for the teen center, Thomas, who plays Andre Harris on "Victorious," said his goal was to spread a positive message to the youth in the community.
“I never imagined this would be my life," he said. "I was just a kid born in Brooklyn.”
Thomas added, “The important thing is to have respect for your parents and listen to what they’re trying to do for you and work really hard to accomplish you goals.”
Thomas was on hand to contribute to a mural for the center’s wall.
“I’m not sure if they will want my artwork," he said. "I am an artist, but not such a good painter.”
Thomas’ mom, Jayon Anthony added, “Once, in Los Angeles Leon was asked to paint some flowers for a community event. Afterward, the organizers went back and painted over them,” she chuckled.
Either way, the teens at the center didn’t seem to mind any lack of artistic ability on Thomas' part. He helped out by putting his handprints in the center of a collage, alongside charter members of the center.
The youth also started the process of painting their teen center walls, made possible by a donation of paint and supplies from The Sherwin-Williams Company. Daniel Wilburn, Atlanta sales representative for the company was there to supervise and assist with the project and offered to come back to help the students with their painting goals.
Jennifer Dubrey, Cobb County School District employee and Teen Center volunteer, is heading up the paint project. Dubrey will be supervising the students who will be doing the work themselves.
Dubrey, a former paint contractor will help the students section off the areas to paint and follow through with a chosen design scheme. The kids chose bright vivid colors to work with.
Thomas promised to come back to Kennesaw to view the completed project next time he was in the Atlanta area.
“Now that I’ve had a taste of this southern hospitality," he said. "I’ll definitely be back.”
This was Thomas’ first trip to Georgia. He added, “You guys treat me so well here, it’s been exciting just hanging out. I can’t wait to come back.”
The event wrapped up the planned fundraising activities for the teen center during Thomas’ visit. No doubt Thomas will be back, since he holds the key to the city. Mayor Matthews officially declared April 16, Leon Thomas III Day during Monday’s City Council Meeting.