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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Animal Nonprofit Offers Teens Job Training -- Mikayla Lewis

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.--A local pet shop is helping not only abandoned animals but also teens who are in need. 

His employer calls him, "the dog whisperer," but Cortez Rice is also a budding rapper. He used to sell drugs, before starting work at Crossroads Pets: Shop and Adopt last fall.

Cortez Rice said, " I had a run-ins with the law my previous years, so just coming here to do something positive."

Cortez is being honored for his accomplishments by Metro Schools later this month. The 18-year-old is now graduating high school this week with honors, and is one of five Crossroads interns.

Stefanie Toupes, intern explained, "It's good for us to get involved with the animals and to learn from them just as much as they learn from us."

Jamar Hays, intern added, "Animals can translate to anything."

The non-profit hires young adults  through various youth outreach organizations.

Nancy Keen Palmer, Crossroads coordinator said,"  Transform lives through the healing power of the human-animal bond. So we're constantly reinforcing relationships between youth and animals. "

The interns are paid, and receive job training while helping the rescued animals.

 The group helped 120 animals in its first year like Gracie and Maria. The dogs were rescued from a North Nashville home in January. The pair was covered in plumbers glue and released from Metro Animal Care and Control after they finally were able to clean the dogs up.  

Crossroads volunteer foster parent, Karen Christian is  releasing the two dogs to their forever home tomorrow.

Karen Christian , volunteer said, "I'm retired now, but I worked for 40 years ...and this is the best job I ever had."

Palmer added, "They are proof, as are the interns that life hurts sometimes and you just look forward with a positive attitude and the world shines."

Crossroads was established in 2010, and the pet shop is celebrating its first year in operation this month.

The non-profit is always looking for volunteers, for more information: CLICK HERE!

For more info on Crossroads visit https://www.facebook.com/crossroadspets.

Follow Mikayla Lewis on Twitter @MikaylaFox17.

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