Editor, The Commercial:
The 39th annual Original KingFest Celebration is in the books. On behalf of the Original KingFest executive committee, I want to give a BIG THANK YOU to our speaker, Mr. Freddie Scott, who inspired scholars at three high schools.
Mr. William Fells III made an impact and gave a powerful speech on the north steps of the Pine Bluff Civic Center Complex. Thank you to all those coaches and administrators at Pine Bluff, Watson Chapel, and Friendship Aspire Academy Elementary schools for helping to plan and deploy excellent programs.
To parents and friends who came out to support the youth of Pine Bluff, thank you! The youngsters of today are the ones who will write the "New History" for our city, state, and nation. Thanks to volunteers for serving on the MLK Day of Service, putting service above self.
Mayor Shirley Washington, R. Lamont Davis, Bethany Chapel MBC; Pat Hart, First Assembly of God; Travis Harden, Greater Mt. Calvary MBC; Mack Milner, The Refuge, William Shaw Jr., Pleasant View Ministries; Paradise Funeral Home, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Bessie Smith Lancelin, Patricia Oates, Janet Johnson, Rev. Dr. Daniel W. Johnson, Yvette Hammond, the Pine Bluff Faith Community Coalition Ministerial Alliance, Ambassadors for Christ, the Pine Bluff Luxury Car Club, Pine Bluff Mission, the Historical Elm Grove MBC, Pine Bluff Police, Fire, Transit, Parks, and Recreation -- thank you. And thanks to our 39th annual OKFC Grand Parade Marshals
Finally, January is National Mentoring Month. Mentoring is a low-cost, high-yield solution to a growing crisis in Pine Bluff. When youngsters are mentored well, 98% stay in school, 98% do not become teen parents, 85% do not do drugs, and 98% avoid gang participation.
I encourage all to become a mentor, whether Faith-based, PEN OR PENCIL National Mentoring Movement or another organization, we need you. You will see a returned product due to the time invested when you sign up and become a mentor.
On a personal note, Freddie Scott and William Fells III were mentored by me, which brings me great joy every day to see the aforementioned mentoring stats proven. Make a pledge today to rescue our youngsters and become a mentor because our youngsters need you.
Rev. Jesse C. Turner, executive director,
Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration Inc.