Kids transformed by "Camp T.A.L.K.S."

Students at Vanderbilt's "Camp T.A.L.K.S." helps students who stutter find faith in their voices. (WSMV)

"Stuttering is nothing to be embarrassed about," said Jack Henderson to a classroom full of campers.

Henderson is one of the founders of Vanderbilt's "Camp T.A.L.K.S." a place where kids who stutter find faith in their voices.

"The focus of camp is not at all about fixing stuttering. We're not about stuttering less. We're about speaking more," said Henderson.

Some show up shy, reserved and responding to questions using one-word answers, but after just one week, they go home transformed.

"By Friday, especially, they're talking up a storm. They're getting up telling jokes in the morning. They're just being themselves," said Henderson.

Andrew Nessarri, 15, remembers the first time he came to camp seven or eight years ago.

"I felt very nervous because I'm nervous whenever I step into a group full of strangers," said Nessarri.

These days he's more like a counselor helping out with sports and arts and crafts.

The kids also spend time educating the public.

"If you ever meet someone who stutters, don't interrupt them and don't try to finish their sentences for them," said Nessarri.

Camp culminates with a production: plays written, produced and performed by the campers.

It's a chance for these talented kids to be themselves and shine.

"The play, as I see it, is a way to see the campers’ growth and confidence. I definitely feel as if we accomplished something," said Nessarri.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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