Communication Builds Our Community

NAACP Youth Council Seeking More Members

Breakfast Meeting Scheduled Aug. 31

The Lake Wales NAACP Youth Council is holding a breakfast Saturday, Aug. 31 for current and prospective members.

NAACP Branch President Wanda Howard said the Lake Wales Youth Council is one of the oldest in the state, and possibly the nation, formed at Roosevelt High School in 1943.

Howard said a functioning council needs at least 25 members, but it is open to all interested young people: "The NAACP is very diverse. We include people of all races."

The Youth Council members meet monthly and also attend quarterly regional meetings in Orlando. Howard said students are encouraged to talk openly about what's happening at their schools and to share issues of concern with adults: "I really think they can grow with this organization if they set their minds and become leaders.

"My goal and my focus is having the children become rising leaders," Howard said. "It's what our young people need to know to become leaders. The majority of students leave high school not knowing how to conduct meetings, parliamentary procedure."

Howard said the Youth Council members can adopt projects, get involved with the NAACP ACT-SO program and possibly plan a day trip to Tallahassee to see the state Legislature in action.

NAACP branches support the Youth Councils, hoping the young people will continue with college groups and then join the adult organization. Membership dues are $10 or $15 with a magazine subscription, but Howard said the organization will assist any who can't afford to pay.

"We really want them to be successful in life, to carry themselves in society and avoid the school to prison pipeline," Howard said.

Selina Strong, a paraprofessional at Hillcrest Elementary School in Lake Wales, is the council's adviser, and Howard said the group also "needs adult volunteers to help support and mentor the children so they can be productive and understand the role of becoming a leader."

The Youth Council breakfast is scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31 at IHOP, 2850 Ridge Way (off U.S. 27) in Lake Wales. Donations for breakfast will be accepted. Reservations are requested, preferably by Aug. 16, by calling 863-678-3176 and leaving a message with name and phone number.

Howard can be reached at 863-604-9303 or by emailing [email protected].


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