Gulf Coast youth pack up for Atlanta leadership conference

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Five members and three chaperones from the Biloxi based organization Visions of Hope left for Georgia on Wednesday. The group is attending a leadership conference where they will learn how to achieve goals set for themselves and for their communities.

They expect it will be a life changing journey.

"Basically it's a chance for youth to learn how to better help the community," Arnurcy Turner said.

Turner, who has been a member of Visions of Hope for some time, said more than 500 people will join together at the World Leadership Conference and Awards in Atlanta. There they will be given the tools to polish up on goals, future endeavors and, most importantly, how to empower others.

"We teach the youngsters how to really get into their talent, how to act, how to sing and how to dance. I'm really focusing on community work and volunteering. They have a leadership class about how to raise funds for different events. So, I'm really looking forward to that," said Turner.

"We're out helping kids my age and kids younger than us and kids older than us," Joshua Johnson said. "We have a committee to keep everybody out of trouble and out of the streets."

There will be people ages 12 to 21 from all around the world attending the conference. Johnson said while he is anxious to interact with those youth, he's anticipating meeting and soaking up as much knowledge as possible from the conference founder: pop icon Usher.

"Meeting Usher, he's like a real role model to me, because I love singing. Most of his songs helped me get into singing," said Johnson.

And his is just one of the dreams that the leadership conference hopes to fuel. Conference workshops begin Thursday and end Saturday.

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