MT. VERNON — The NAACP of Jefferson County plans to reactivate its Youth Council program and an organizational meeting for the group has been set for April 12.
At the meeting, local youth will have a chance to join the council and receive training on a variety of topics. The meeting will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the South Town Family Center, 1108 S. 15th St.
Jefferson County’s Youth Council has been dormant since around 2008.
Recently, however, organizers decided to relaunch the program because of its potential to steer youth in a positive direction and help them set goals for the future, said Ron Lash, president of the NAACP of Jefferson County.
“We thought that it would be a good idea to get the Youth Council started again,” Lash said.
Local NAACP youth advisor James Malone said the Youth Council helps reinforce the values young people receive from their schools, churches and parents.
The program also exposes youth to community activism at an early age, Malone said.
“It helps the community be better prepared to go through some of the problems we’re having,” Malone said. “It’s a benefit not just to the kids themselves, but the overall community.”
The NAACP Jefferson County Youth Council has three main objectives — to provide youth with personal and leadership development training, to support proactive political and community activism, and to increase public awareness of the necessity of positive youth engagement, states a local NAACP news release.
There are currently about 700 NAACP Youth Councils, High School Chapters and College Chapters active in the U.S., the release states.
More than 25,000 young people participate in these groups, which are part of the NAACP’s Youth & College Division.
“The NAACP has one of the largest organized groups of young people of any secular organization in the country,” the news release states. “Youth units across America are engaged in a social justice activism addressing issues at the local, state and national level.”