The talents displayed at Churchill Square yesterday were the works of many youths celebrating the first annual Urban Games event.

An initiative that stemmed from the creative minds of nine teenagers, the festival’s purpose is to showcase the skills, talents and abilities of Edmonton’s inner-city youth.

Michelle Irsheid led writing workshops during the weekend event and used her passion for writing to help others.

“I get youths to write stories and quotes about society and real experiences that have happened to them,” she said as she pointed to the wall where she displayed the writings. “I went through a lot of stuff in the past and writing helped me, and so did art.”

Moving away from reactive, judicial measures of discipline, Urban Games backs a philosophy where the troubled are supported and empowered to do what they’re passionate about.

“We supported them and helped guide and mentor them through that process, but really it was about working with them,” said Kelly Micetich, project manager for Urban Games. “For them, creating their own solutions means they own the success.”