ATLANTA — Runners dripping with sweat as they cross the finish line at the 54th AJC Peachtree Road Race will now be greeted with a colorful surprise this year.
Members of the nonprofit, LEAD Ambassador Program, which was created to empower Black teenage boys, whipped up a special custom-made backdrop motivating runners.
This year, the Atlanta Track Club and Adidas commissioned the group to create an original graffiti-inspired art piece for the finish line.
The nonprofit said it pays tribute to the city's culture symbolizing a piece of home. The group partnered with local artist, Cedrick Cox, to help bring their vision to light.
Cox has been creating custom shoes for 10 years and said it's fun to make art with new young creators.
"It feels great. They are just like my own kids. I make sure they are well. They need a hand or help -- I am there," the artist said.
Keshawn Wiley, one of the students that contributed to the project, said that the backdrop paints the scene for the race which is centered around the Fourth of July.
It features people running in Adidas gear with bright colors, fireworks and more.
Wiley associated the colors of the American flag with home and peace.
"It's inspiring, opportunities like this. This is a once in a lifetime for some kids. It's good to be able to give back to the community. It makes us feel, we get to have a voice," Wiley said.
The student added that their nonprofit teaches him and his fellow ambassadors how to be men and helps them navigate society.
The group of creators said it's their way of giving back to the community and giving the Atlanta culture a new meaning.