Youth conference aims to help teens face adversity

Youth conference aims to help teens face adversity
The two-day workshop aims to teach kids about coming of age. (Photo source: WLOX New)

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Coming together in the name of leadership is what hundreds of Gulf Coast youths are spending their weekend doing.

More than 150 students are interacting and learning from top professionals at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Resort Center.

"All these adults are trying to prepare us for the real world," said 13-year-old China Chandler. "Staying away from bad choices, making us do stuff like good choices, trying to prepare us for college."

The two-day workshop aims to teach kids about coming of age.

"I've learned don't talk to strangers when they try to contact you on Facebook," said 12-year-old Aneesa Muhammad. "Block them, or tell an adult."

Saturday's was called "Girl's Choice, Male's Prerogative: United for Change". It was organized by the Jackson County Chapter of the National Congress of Black Women, and covered a wide variety of topics.

"We have law enforcement come in talk about human trafficking, teen dating violence. Even about the internet, and the consequences of that if you don't use it properly," said April Martin, a member of NCBW.

Organizers say it takes a village to raise a child, and they're using the workshop to do just that.

"We want to help them understand that the wrong choices could lead to consequences that could affect their lives later on, and all the goals they have for themselves," said Martin.

The message seems to be sticking with the kids.

"To me, they responded really well today. They seemed like they enjoyed a lot of what was being said, and I past around the accountability ball, they all stood up said their name their age and how they were going to get there," said Pastor Jimmy Wilson, who was a guest speaker.

And the kids say, they're ready to tackle the world with their new knowledge.

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