Youth Empowerment Seminar Mt. Zion AME Church

From left; Wanda Torres, Mary Johnson, Keya Thomas, PJ Lewis, Mildred Smith, Rev. Willie Hayes, Deputy Officer Benji Toney, Aisha Alayande and Peter Lewis.

SEBRING — The Rev. Laura M. White Women of Purpose Tutoring and Mentoring program of Greater Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church, 870 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., where Rev. Willie Hayes is the Pastor, held a Youth Empowerment Seminar on Feb. 29.

The goal of the seminar was to empower our youth with practical strategies for the obstacles they encounter daily. The seminar was attended by approximately 21 youth ages 5-18. The morning started out with the keynote speaker Mrs. Keya Thomas, Senior Project Manager from Charlotte, North Carolina, who spoke powerful words to the youth, “If You Want Something Different, You Must Do Something Different,” Thomas said.

Her message deeply impacted the youth that many sought her out to be their Mentor. The youth then rotated to various sessions with the following topics and presenters: bullying, peer pressure and selecting friends wisely with Deputy Sheriff Benji Toney; and Career Options After High School with PJ Lewis, college recruiter and Peter Lewis, area supervisor of forestry in Frostproof.

During Brunch, our youth were amazed by the powerful words of Mildred Smith, director of nursing (Palms); Mental Health-Where Do I Go for Help with Aisha Alayande, executive director of the Drug-Free Highlands Coalition; The Importance of School/Tips to Be Successful with Mary Johnson, retired teacher of Highlands County.

The presenters spoke words of empowerment to our youth. The seminar was an extreme success. The Rev. Laura M. White Women of Purpose is looking forward to holding another empowerment seminar in 2021. All praises To God.