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Yale-bound teen paints a new life through determination

color:#202022\">(CBS) -- New Orleans has always been famous for its food and music, but the city is also a hot spot for art.


color:#202022\">The Big Easy is home to countless galleries and museums that feature the talents of world-famous artists.


color:#202022\">And now some of the city's most recently celebrated artwork is the product of an unlikely artist whose incredible talent is rivaled only by his remarkable story.


color:#202022\">High school artist Leonard Galmon knows how to leave an impression.


color:#202022\">A 3-D painting shows a gun on the ground, and a young man turning his back. It was featured recently at the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center


color:#202022\">\"In this city most of the homicides and shootings and stuff like that are because of young African-American males,\" Galmon said. \"So I just wanted to do a piece that was sort of turning your back on that.\"


color:#202022\">The piece is personal to Galmon.


color:#202022\">He grew up in the projects of one of New Orleans' infamous high-crime, low-income neighborhoods.


color:#202022\">He was born when his mom was just 13. His dad was a drug dealer who was killed in broad daylight.


color:#202022\">\"You grow up, you know, people are shot and killed,\" he said.


color:#202022\">Hurricane Katrina forced Galmon's family out of its dangerous neighborhood.


color:#202022\">He said it was a blessing in disguise.


color:#202022\">\"Moving from the city let me know that there was more than the city - that if I wanted to leave I could and there was a whole world to see,\" he said.


color:#202022\">So when he finally returned, he focused on school and art.


color:#202022\">And his teacher, Ann Schwab, noticed something special.


color:#202022\">\"He came in like a whirlwind. He came in and set the bar really high for his peers,\" Schwab said.


color:#202022\">Galmon's counselors encouraged him to apply to college. He set his sights on the Ivy League. Now, he's headed to Yale University.


color:#202022\">\"I was just happy. I was happy and excited, and I really got into Yale, and it was kind of surreal actually,\" Galmon said.


color:#202022\">Galmon's story has attracted attention across the state.


color:#202022\">During a recent ceremony, the New Orleans City Council called him an \"example\" for the entire city.


color:#202022\">He's even earned an official commendation from the Louisiana State Legislature and a prestigious scholarship.


color:#202022\">But he's taking everything in stride.


 


color:#202022\">\"I still actually have to go to school and excel, so it's going to be difficult. It's Yale University,\" Galmon said.

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