They hate to see us at our best, which is why we never rest! Seventeen teens from the local chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc., a family focused organization that focuses on serving the needs of
African-American children, attended the 63rd Annual Southeastern Region Teen Leadership Conference. The conference, attended by over 1,20000 teens and parents, was held June 26 – 30th, 2019, in sunny Hollywood, Florida.
The Teens enjoyed five power packed days, planned and executed by the Regional Teen Executive Board, of leadership training, community service and networking with other teens from across the southeastern region of Jack & Jill which includes Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi
The Teens fellowshipped at a welcome reception beside the intercostal waterway on Wednesday evening. Thursday’s business plenary session, which included the annual Ann Owen Gordon Regional Oratorical Competition, was followed by a spirited intramural game day in which the Albany teens placed 1st in flag football
The Albany Teens rose early on Friday to campaign for Preston Jones, Candidate for Teen Regional Vice- President. Although another older teen was elected to the position, the campaign was a rousing display of support and confidence in Preston’s leadership. The Teens spent the afternoon serving others, making hand looped baby blankets for a children’s hospital, packing non-perishable meals and filling book bags for children
A morning of leadership development workshops on Saturday focused on topics from finance to personal marketing to collegiate academics and was closed out with a memorable leadership luncheon and panel discussion featuring Regional Teen President Jordyn Allen of the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Chapter and The Honorable Bakari Sellers. Sellers entered the political arena in 2006 at age 22 as the youngest African American Elected Official in the nation and the youngest member in history of the South Carolina State Legislature.
The Senior Gala on Saturday night celebrated the accomplishments and college plans of all graduating seniors, including the Albany Chapter’s only graduating senior, Myles McCoy, who will be studying mechanical engineering and running track at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, AL, this fall.
This year’s attendees were outgoing Albany Teen President Preston Jones (Deerfield Windsor School Rising Junior), President -Elect Taylor Huff (Dougherty HS Rising Senior), Myles McCoy (Graduate of Westover HS), Rising Seniors James Hopson (Lee County HS) and Jayson Griswold (Dougherty HS), Rising Juniors Jordan Moser (Deerfield Windsor School), Kenadi Dyer(Westover HS), Anealia Ryant (Westover HS), Norman Newton (Westover HS), Baron Hopson (Lee County HS), Rising Sophomores Shawn Ross (Westover HS), Madison McCoy (Westover HS), Julia Solomon (Dougherty HS), Taniyah Hampton (Westover HS), Vincent Williams (Westover HS), and Kole Fortson (Westover HS) and Rising Freshman John Hopson (Deerfield Windsor School). The Teens were chaperoned by Teen Sponsors Mona McCoy and Dr. Kendra Huff and Moms Nedra Fortson, Patricia Hampton, Michele Newton, and Terrie Williams.
This year’s theme, “They Hate to See Us at Our Best, That’s Why We Never Rest” resonated throughout the conference. When asked about the conference theme, National President Danielle Brown responded, “In a time when the freedom and lives of many people who look like us are in peril, it is important that we learn every lesson we can about who we are as a people, understanding both our history and future. So, when faced with hatred, racism, discrimination or indifference, we have the courage to rise-up, educate, and fight back.”
Founded in Philadelphia, PA. in 1938, Jack and Jill of America, Inc., is a membership organization of mothers with children ages 2-19, dedicated to nurturing future African-American leaders by strengthening children throughout leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving, and civic duty. The goals of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., are simple: to develop the next generation of leaders in government, technology, business and industry. Today, Jack and Jill boasts more than 245 chapters nationwide, representing more than 40,000 family members.
The Albany, GA, Chapter was the first chapter formed in the state of Georgia in 1950. The AlbanyChapter will celebrate 70 years of service in the Albany community in 2020. The current chapter members are: Loucresia Berry, Kimberly Bodiford, Kisha Davis, Charlice Dukes, Christine Ford, Nedra Fortson, Rae Fussell, Jazmine Gilbert, Maqueta Griswold, Patricia Hampton, Staphanie Dyer, Marquetta Harvey, CaMia Hopson, Narkis Howard, Kendra Huff (President), Remy Hutchins, Lisa Love, Mona McCoy, Shauntae Motley, Magalie Nelson, Michele Newton, Ashley Smith, Marion Ryant, Alfreda Sheppard, Hope Frye, Natasha Webb, Courtney Williams, SaJuana Williams, Terrie Williams, Alphonese Wilson and Marva Ross.
The 2020 Southeastern Region Teen Leadership Conference will be held in Nashville, TN.