Macon-Bibb officials host My Brother’s Keeper summit
However, that did not stop Macon-Bibb County Commissioners Al Tillman and Virgil Watkins Jr., along with the Executive Assistant to the Mayor, Sam Henderson from meeting with the few people who did show up.
“I gather a lot of information from them,” says 20-year-old Jorge Buenrostro. He listened as county officials explained their desire to reach out to young people.
“They seem like they understand our concerns and they’re worried about what we are needing in the community,” added Buenrostro.
Officials told the small crowd the goal of the summit was to get feedback about issues young people are facing.
“We can build all the new roads and the new buildings and make everything pristine but if we don’t have some young folk, who are equipped to come behind us and manage this stuff, we’re gonna find ourselves in real trouble,” says Henderson.
“What I want to do is contribute to the community so there’s more help with the youth as far as getting them out of the streets and guiding them in their education,” explained Buenrostro.
15-year-old Ojanny Mishell says she wants children to understand they are not alone.
“So they can know that we’re here and they have people to get advice from,” says Mishell. “The youth are very, very segregated but I want them to come together and not be in different places.”
According to Watkins, they are using the forums to prevent Bibb County students from taking a destructive path.
“Our community, we have programs that are great programs that help kids,” says Watkins. “But, they’re only working with 30, 40, 50 youth. We got a school system with 25,000 students.”
One county official believes the development of the county will be in jeopardy if adults choose not to serve as mentors.
“These are our children, not just my children because I’m a father but this is the future of this community and communities like it all over the country,” added Henderson. “One of the questions I always ask was what did I do for my children that some of the other young children may not be getting. You know the overwhelming thing that I come up with is that I was there for them.”
My Brother’s Keeper youth summits will continue with Henderson, Tillman and Watkins visiting various youth organizations to speak with more Bibb County youths.