In My Zone Hosts ‘Loving and Encouraging our Youth Day’

Written by: Nicole L. Wade

There are not many things that top the importance of addressing the concerns of our youth.

As bad news about youths gone awry bombards our living rooms all too frequently, we are left wondering what we can do to make a lasting and positive difference. Nashville resident, Carla Hart, might answer this question by saying, “Render your time and talents to the young people in your community.” Carla, originally from suburban Illinois, is the proud mother of 4 sons and a proponent for strength in family and communities. She is the founder of In My Zone, an organization she created to inspire and celebrate youths.

Carla Hart

Carla Hart

On April 16th, Carla hosted “Loving and Encouraging our Youth Day” at Thurgood Marshall Middle School, located in Antioch, TN. She put a great deal of thought and heart into enlisting other professionals to join her in edifying approximately fifty 5th – 7th grade young ladies, with topics that are relevant to their age groups.

Participants were paired into small groups within their grade categories to attend interactive talks, led by the adult volunteers. Speakers addressed topics such as self-esteem, health and exercise, financial basics and bullying. Not only was the event informative, but it was also interactive and fun. Workshops were short in length, encouraging and uplifting. Members of women’s empowerment group, Exhale Nashville were amongst the professional volunteers who conducted classes. And local stylists teamed up to provide on site styles for the young ladies.

Special guests conducted creative and cultural workshops that enforced positive self-esteem. Former Miss Tennessee State University, Chandra Lipscomb, led an impactful and uplifting etiquette segment with all 50 young ladies, as well as the adult speakers. Ms. Lipscomb encouraged the young ladies to find their own unique beauty and to appreciate their individual strengths. The library and cafeteria came alive with group singing led by 2 local songsters. A catered lunch for the ladies awaited them for the final segment of the event.

The day was topped off concert-style, with a special positive rap performance by Ms. Hart’s youngest son, Rique (17). The event ended with a group selfie, revealing the excitement the happenings left on all the participants faces.

Students enjoying the program

Selfie photo of participants in Loving and Encouraging our Youth Day

There is still chatter about the event days since it convened. The level of engagement shown by the young participants is evidence that interactions with groups like In My Zone, is appreciated and needed by our youths. Says Ms. Hart, “Our sole purpose for this event is to encourage the young ladies and teach them how to love and take care of themselves, mentally, physically and socially.” The old adage, “It takes a village to raise one child” is still true today, making it possible for good news such as this to greet us more often than the alternative.

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