Ministry teaches young people to become community leaders

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A youth ministry is trying to instill in today's young people the values to help them become South Mississippi's leaders of tomorrow. Twelve and thirteen-year-olds picked up trash around 34th Street Saturday. They talked about how learning to be community leaders has changed their perspective.

Tired of seeing the bottles, wrappers, and other trash in their Gulfport neighborhood these seventh and eight graders decided to do something about it and pick it up.

"It shows how much you care about your community because other stuff doesn't matter if your community is looking like trash all over the place," Nehemiah Thompson said.

New Generation Leaders of Gulfport was formed to instill good values in young people. Collecting trash is just one of several leadership activities organizers use to hopefully plant the seeds for those who will grow up to be the voices of the community.

"I would hope that they would be able to do the same thing and be able to reach back to see a ripple effect in the community," said group leader Landon Jordan. "Whereas, they would see a responsibility or something that needs to be done and be able to reach out youths when they become adults."

The young people said with so much negative peer pressure out there, it's nice to do a good deed and have the support of their friends.

"Instead of doing negative stuff, you can actually do something positive. Like you're doing something to change everything instead of letting it stay as it is," Desirae Fleming said.

Some area apartment residents were so inspired by the teens they pitched in to help.

The girls within New Generation Leaders of Gulfport are part of a subgroup called Girl Power while the boys are members of Mighty Men of Integrity.

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