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Alumni Profiles - Summer Youth Institute
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Alumni Profiles

From Quez in Itta Bena: 

“Since SYI, I’ve completed numerous city clean-ups, landscaped the front of a school, and hosted a float festival. SYI gave me the tools to get directly connected with the people that will help me most, and it helped me gain a little political experience. The most memorable part of SYI was the trip to Philadelphia,Ms and being in the spot where the Civil Rights workers were killed. In the near future, I hope to impact a younger audience by hosting sports camps and things of that nature.”

From Timeshia in McComb:
“SYI prepared me by teaching different leadership skills and having several workshops. The people there all had positive attitudes, so that also encouraged me with my project. The one way they prepared me most was constantly talking about how we had to go back and help the community. I came home inspired to mentor children from 1st through 6th grades. My organization is AERO (Achieving Excellence with Rising Opportunities). I currently have 24 AERO KIDS and a total of five teen mentors, including me. I have had three major projects; Back 2 School Fun Day at Edgewood Park, AERO KIDS in McComb Christmas Parade, and a one day trip to Hattiesburg, MS (toured USM, Hattiesburg Zoo and fun at Gatti Town). We meet weekly at my church, dealing with manners, morals and values. I have adult consultants in education, spiritual guidance and social work, but all direct work with AERO KIDS comes from teen mentors. This spring I am taking AERO KIDS to New Orleans, LA for an education/fun day. In January AERO KIDS will march in the Martin Luther King Parade in McComb. We will also have a program in March to spotlight AERO KIDS with the theme “Stars Waiting to Be Discovered.”

My most memorable thing from SYI was the people. The people I met there, I will never forget. I found people just like me, all fighting for some cause. No one there put anyone down. The people at William Winter Institute want everyone to succeed, and they give you so much help to make it happen.”

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