Sunday evening, over 350 community friends gathered at the Brownsville Community Center to honor Truth for Youth for the multitude of services provided to the children of Escambia and Santa Rosa County.
The affair brought community leaders such as County Commissioner Lumon May and County Commissioner Grover Robinson, Mayor Henry Hawkins of Century, Mrs. Mary Johnson, City councilwoman of Milton, along with a host of attorneys and doctors as well as ministers to participate in the joyous moment. Proclamations were given by Mayor Hawkins, Mrs. Johnson and the County for the work that the organization has achieved.
Speaker for the evening was Shawn Thompson, who spoke about his love for Truth for Youth and the mentorship and inspiration he received from Rev. John Powell, founder.
Thompson is a graduate from Booker T Washington High School. He went on to play football for Tennessee State University. Currently he lives in Nashville Tennessee and is the owner of a business named ‘My Logo’. He also is a motivational speaker.
Truth for Youth is a 501(c)3 that also has its solicitation certificate. The organization interacts with the children of the community providing them a place to understand morals, discipline and most important, love. “I love all children. It’s all about being a truer humanitarian,” said Rev. John Powell. “Christ was a true humanitarian. He loved everybody. Poverty does not discriminate. When you are broke, you are just broke. Whether you are Black, white, Asian, Hispanic or Native American; that is the common denominator for all of these children that brings them together to just survive.”
Young people are adults in process. They don’ initiate love, they simply reflect love. If we are loving people, we become loving people. Image breeds inspiration. If there is image, there is no inspiration,” stated Powell. “Our children need someone to inspire them. And since I just happen to be African American, that means that Black boys and Black girls need to see someone that looks like them, inspire them to go a little higher and say I can achieve because they have achieved. We all need someone that looks like us to inspire us in certain ways. So, Truth for Youth tries to provide a wholesome, hospitable environment, Christian-like, for boys and girls to be involved in. We hope to embed in them morals, because it seems morals have been thrown out of the window. People don’t respect anyone anymore. Young people don’t respect older people. We want to teach morals still exits. “
“The village can range a child. Let’s stop complaining about what we are not doing and give our children a safe, moral caring environment and hopefully they will grow up- to be positive tax paying citizens.”
The 25th year celebration was not just a fund raiser to put the roof on the building, it was a beginning to raise money for refurbish a building that our children will have a place to come and feel safe to enjoy and grow.”
The Truth for Youth building is a historic building located in historic Belmont and Devilliers. The organization relies on donations and grants to help with outstanding costs and activities for the youth of surrounding areas.
If you would like to volunteer your services, be it professional or community, please contact Rev. John Powell or his Board of Directors to see how you too, can make a difference.