TOPEKA (KSNT) — A Topeka native is inspiring others to not let their environment stop them from achieving their dreams, the theme of his upcoming movie.

Erick Fletcher was born and raised in Topeka, growing up in the southeast part of town. Fletcher said he’s seen a lot growing up here, the good and the bad. But he didn’t let his surroundings determine his future; a point he wants to get across in his film “Dreams.”

“I grew up around a lot of drugs, a lot of gangs, a lot of gang violence,” Fletcher said. “A lot of poverty, a lot of stuff like that. But that doesn’t, you know, growing up that doesn’t create who you are. A lot of people fail to realize that, and so they get trapped into that.”

The movie tells the story of a teen who grows up in Topeka and faces some challenges eventually overcoming the odds. He said “Dreams” is different than other films with this coming of age theme because it tells the story of a kid from a small town instead of a big city, being able to give viewers a chance to relate.

“I’m trying to spread, ‘Yo, people do care. You can do this, you can do that, you can be somebody,'” he said. “Just because we’re from Topeka, doesn’t mean nobody knows about us or nobody cares about us.”

The movie is expected to be done in the fall. Fletcher does more than coming up with the idea of the film. He’s also a musician and did the soundtrack for it.

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