By Charles Davis III
On Saturday, August 5th the Mother Wit Institute, Inc. held its 10th Annual Youth Leadership Conference & Banquet . The event was held at Englewood Baptist Church with food, drinks, and comradery for all in attendance. The leadership conference offered the youth of the community methods on leadership, living your best, reaching your full potential and being your ‘best self’.
Located at North DeVilliers Street in Pensacola, the Mother Wit Institute is a charitable and educational organization. Founded in 2001, this organization continues to help and thrive within the community. Board members include: Georgia Blackmon-President, Rose Salter-Vice President, Johnny Blackmon- Secretary, O’neal Thomas- Assistant Secretary and Debra Rodney-Assistant Secretary & Treasurer.
The Saturday event was an opportunity for the youth in the community to witness a great success story in the Honorable Judge Kerra A. Smith, the guest speaker. Attorney Gerald McKenzie gave an inspirational introduction of the guest speaker and his history with the Blackmon’s.
“We developed and had our own TV show here where we talked about the community issues from our perspective,” stated McKenzie on past ventures with the Blackmon’s.
“She very much is a part of this community and what she has accomplished is a great thing,” continued McKenzie about Judge Smith. McKenzie goes on to say how competitive and determined she was to accomplish her goals not only as child but as an adult.
Judge Smith is a Pensacola native who received her Bachelor’s degree in Pre-Law from the University of West Florida and attended law school at Florida State University. After graduation, she began her career as an Assistant State Attorney. “The decisions you make now will likely determine what quality of life you will have as an adult,” remarked Judge Smith as she spoke to the youth on setting life goals. “Becoming a judge is something I set a goal on a very long time ago and worked towards over time, step by step,” she continued.
Judge Smith shared with the youth some helpful tips and words of wisdom on becoming leaders. She stated, “Don’t be afraid. Love yourself enough to know that you are powerful beyond measure and have the ability to achieve whatever your goal may be with hard work and determination.”
The Mother Wit Institute later presented Judge Smith with a painting as token of their gratitude and appreciation.