By: Wesley Martin
Pensacola’s very own Rev. John Henry Powell, Sr. was honored last Friday, October 19, in Orlando, Fla., with the Florida Education Association’s Martin Luther King Jr. Award.
Powell, founder of Truth For Youth, Inc., established the organization to advocate for youth in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. The FEA cited Powell, originally from Snowhill, Ala., as positively impacted the lives of thousands of residents throughout Northwest Florida and a champion of underserved communities.
The criteria for nomination is to display a positive, widespread and significant social educational, economical, or political impact while establishing an ongoing program for the improvement of human relations and civil rights, exemplifying the nonviolent philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Juanita Diggs, a home visitor educator in Escambia County who also sits on the FEA’s Human and Civil Rights board, nominated Powell.
“I know that Rev. Powell is a pillar in our community,” Diggs said. “I know he does a lot of things within Escambia County and he’s a great motivator for our young people and even our adults in the community.”
Diggs said she nominated Powell last year in 2011, but he didn’t win. Still convicted of his good service, Diggs nominated him again this year and he won.
Dorothy Powell who has been married to Rev. Powell for 38 years says her husband began Truth For Youth in 1993 because he saw an overall lack within the community.
“He has Pensacola at heart,” Dorothy said. “And he thinks it could be a better community, a better environment than what it is – That keeps him motivated.”
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