GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Gulf Coast Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated is doing its part to steer youth in the right direction. The group has partnered with the Boys & Girls Club to present the EMBODI program - an initiative geared towards bettering the lives of young men in the community.
"It is our male outreach program. It stands for empowering males with opportunities for developing independence," said Chapter President Searcy Taylor. "Our young men don't quite see the positive role model, so it's important for them to know that there are young men just like them."
There were plenty of role models on hand. The event featured three guest speakers, each successful in his own right; offering something innovative, intellectual and encouraging. Sixteen-year-old Justin Polk was one of the participants who listened closely to Saturday's presentation.
"It's very empowering, because sometimes in households you don't have those male role models to lead their children into becoming better men," Polk said. "Sometimes they go out and what they find is other men who show them the bad ways, but they need some who will show them the good ways."
Jarvis McInnis, a Gulf Coast native is a product of what activities like the Boys and Girls Club can do. That's why the Columbia University graduate student was more than willing to give back.
"Boys and Girls Club is about imbuing kids with a sense of hope and opportunity. I have benefited so much from both the local Boys and Girls Clubs, and the national club as well. So I feel as though it's my duty to come and create opportunities for youth in my home community," McInnis said.