Teenagers develop character with boatbuilding project

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The cobblestone streets and historic mansions of Old Town Alexandria, Va., are just across the Potomac River, but they were more like another world for a teenager growing up in Southeast Washington.

Darel Bellamy, 18, knows those streets well he said as he took a break recently from his job as a paid intern building boats at the Alexandria Seaport Foundation.

“It got to the point where gunshots were like doorbells to me,” he said. “You just looked out the window to see who was next. I had friends who got killed and friends who did the killing. And I could have been next.”

Bellamy has come a long way since his family fled the city for the Virginia suburbs.

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