Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - firstname.lastname@example.org
CLARKSDALE – Eighteen Coahoma County youth are now on the road to brighter futures after completing Coahoma Community College’s Tony Gobar/ Adolescent Opportunity Program (AOP).
Funded by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, the one-year programs work with adolescent youth at risk of entering the juvenile justice system and their families to master skills necessary to live successfully and work in the community through a wide range of therapeutic activities.
The AOP program, housed on CCC’s campus, targets youth in Coahoma County while the Tony Gobar program, housed at the Justice Center of Marks, MS, targets youth in Quitman County.
During the ceremony, hosted at 4 p.m. Thursday in CCC’s Georgia Lewis Theater, the youngsters were giving some words of wisdom from author, speaker, trainer and President/CEO of Life Changing Presentations Dr. Samuel Jones.
Jones, who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Mississippi, serves as the Vice President of Student Affairs at Jones County Junior College.
He shared with the graduates his own humble beginnings growing up in Rosedale, MS. Reared by his grandmother, Jones said he never dreamed of going to college and only seriously considered the option because of basketball.
However, college not only offered him the opportunity to play professional basketball in Europe, but also taught him some valuable lessons that essentially saved his life.
He told the graduates that they have the same resources available to them.
“We’re all rich because we still have some time,” said Jones. “All of us have time to make a difference.”
He told the students that in order to make a difference them must first have the desire for success, and, secondly, have a target in mind.
“Success is attracted to hard work,” said Jones. “In this life you have three options—work, school or the military. Anything outside of those options is wasting your time … if you don’t have a target in mind you’re going to do things that will cause you to self-destruct.”
Jones challenged the graduates to look beyond their present environments and aim for more.
“If you start hanging out now, you’re going to find yourself there the rest of your life,” said Jones.
He concluded by leaving the graduates with this charge.
“The program is here to give you a shot—make the best of your shot…. Do the right thing.”
After presentation of Certificate of Completions by Loretta Palmer, AOP and Tony Gobar Coordinator, the graduates celebrated their achievement with family and friends as well as local youth court officials with a special reception.