BILOXI (WLOX) -- "We all emphasize our commitment to the next generation," says Carlton Reeves, Mississippi Black Professionals' Association Convention President.
'Preparing the Next Generation for Community Service' is the theme for this year's Mississippi Black Professionals' Association convention.
"In many instances, they don't see, particularly minorities in the healthcare arena or in the business arena doing the things we do. We think it's vitally important for our youth to see us in action out in the community and in our particular our professions," says Billy Brown, Magnolia State Pharmaceutical Society, President.
The organization is made up of physicians, pharmacists and attorneys. The Magnolia Bar Association, a group of lawyers, holds law camps each summer to introduce kids to the world of law. But, they say, the clinics provide kids with much more.
"We are giving them life skills. It's not just about law. It's about training them and showing them how to interview, how to tie a tie, how to dress the part, how to save and invest money," says Reeves.
Mentoring and leading by example is how members plan to continue influencing tomorrow's young leaders. The group's president points to another up and coming leader having a similar impact on young black children, Barack Obama.
"Five and six years old can now see they can be president; black kids can see that. My generation, when we were five and six, we were saying mmmph a black person couldn't even be mayor," says Reeves.
But, the group says now, black youth can accomplish just as much as they have or better, if they are willing step up.
"I really believe the time is now. I think young people should not have to wait for the baton to be passed on to them," says Jaribu Hill, Magnolia Bar Association.