BRYAN, Texas —

In Brazos County, an art program aims to transform young lives. Art for Life offers juvenile offenders a chance to process their emotions and contribute to the community.

A group of youths on probation, the art program’s summer students, unveiled on Thursday the paintings they labored over for three months.

The paintings will replace decades-old posters hanging in the lobby of the Brazos County Juvenile Services Department.

Bryan artist Le Hale, owner of the Purple Turtle Studio in downtown Bryan, mentored the teens all summer long.

“I just think it’s really great they’re going through this program learning something new and they’re celebrated for their achievement and their part in  putting some beautiful artwork in the community,” Hale said. “And we can use that as a tool for them overcoming some mistakes that they’ve made.”

The Brazos County Juvenile Services Department and the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley launched the joint initiative in 2008 to help youths on probation express themselves and reflect on their lives.