6th Annual Commitment to Our Youth to Strengthen their Future Conference
By Dennis s. Murray Sr.
This country has caved into a hole and has not committed to providing accurate educational development, community building, and social outreach for our socially disadvantage and underserved communities nationally. Our dysfunctional leaders in Congress, state and local government has layoff teachers, counselors, canceled aftercare programs, sports, and musical classes. Due to the economy and the rapid downturn our financial industry have miss-managed there budgets and have forced leaders to cut education and close schools for learning. However, this system is not totally broken because Director, Jean Harper of Winston County Youth Self Help Cooperative, of Louisville, Mississippi has devoted her time for years to help youth define and keep the spark in there future alive.
On March 12-14, 2010, Youth Development and Capacity Building, Inc continued their commitment to Ms. Harper and the youth of Louisville, Mississippi to hosted and Co-Chair its 6th Annual Conference moving our youth communities forward with education, empowerment, communications, and health care training (obesity and nutrition), youth internships, community outreach, and public safety programs. Each session last about 35 minutes with 10 minutes for question and answers to get solutions regarding the growing problems that plague our youth nationally with drop-out rates, street violence, obesity, and unacceptable learning practices. During the conversation and training portion of the conference Sophia Humes of Winston County Extension Office organized a debate sceneries regarding smoking in Applebee’s and enlisted the help of Danielle Harris, Terrace L Davis, Jr., Brianna Vaughn, Latia Rush, Zoria Nicholson, and Dustin Jackson to discuss the pro’s and cons of smoking in a public place.
The debate touch on how lung diseases attributes to smoking and how second hand smoke is also a growing problem in a social setting and should smoking be banner in these setting to eliminate the illness associated with smoking. The debate sparked positive resolutions with all youth agreeing that smoking is bad for your health. Shortly after, Dr. Philip B. Aman, USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) presented a presentation with Thermy (Mascot) to discuss food safety and its pro’s and cons of cooking food at the right temperature. FSIS theme on cooking meat and poultry right is “Is It Done Yet?” with recommended safe minimum internal temperatures for meat and poultry. The youth understood this concept because Ms. Harper has been holding regular cooking programs with young males and females to help them in their future food culinary skills.
However, keynote speaker of the day Cobby Mondale Williams of Jackson, Mississippi whom resides in Washington, DC and graduated from Howard University as well as being a businessman, and government employee in Washington, DC and his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi. He explored with a financial orator of information to help shape these youth in times of mistrust with our financial industry. During his opening statements he spoke of knowing your self worth while developing good financial habits that will extend your future in this economy. Mr. Williams spoke on education and how the importants of education can be very valuable but, without financial education you will drown in this world of business as well as in Agriculture thee largest business in the world. These youth were very quite during Mr. Williams’s speech about finance and education. You couldn’t hear a pin drop in the room it was so quiet, Mr. Murray, Executive Director of YDACBINC spoke of the E F Hutton sceneries commercial, when Mr. Williams’s speaks everyone was silent.
We continued the day with a presentation from USDA, Rural Development; Roger Roberson from the regional office in Jackson, Mississippi. Mr. Roberson spoke about Rural Development’s outreach and internships programs for our youth and there future as well as how he worked as an intern while attending Alcorn University and now as a career employee with benefits. He capture there ear during his use of words like “benefits and education” and all of these youth were elated about one day working with USDA, Rural Development and getting their education and benefits for the future. Mr. Roberson also agreed to work with Murray’s Mentors to mentor Latia Rush and Brianna Vaughn both seniors at Louisville High School and Terrance L. Davis Jr. a junior at the same school until they graduate from High School. See attach picture in caption.
We want to thank our sponsor USDA, Rural Development, Washington, DC and speakers Leon Fletcher of Success Beyond Bars, Manola Erby of Alcorn University Extension Program 4-H Youth Specialist, Dr. Rita Tanksley, and others for there commitment to OUR youth and their future.