Meridian, Miss. Several local organizations are joining together in an effort to reach youth. The Coalition for Personal Advancement Through Community Engagement, which is also known as PACE for short, was established within the last year. It's a mentoring effort that brings together officials from: Weems Community Mental Health Center, the Department of Human Services, the City of Meridian, the Meridian Housing Authority, MCCSA, NFusion X outreach and private citizens from the community at large.
"What we do is that we give families information," says PACE member Pastor Kathy Price, "and we walk along on the side of them saying, 'let us help you to understand how to put this information into daily practice, so that your life can be changed."
The group is currently coordinating a 'Dare To Dream' Talent show to inspire young people.
"I really think that the youth have lost their visions and they're dreams, and we are daring you to dream," says NFusion X Youth Specialist, Toni Nettles.
"We're trying to reach a little deeper than just saying, 'Yea, you know that I like you,' or 'you've got pretty eyes,' the things that compliment and help to build self esteem, but to really reach into families and say that we really care about what's going on with you," says Pastor Price. "We're examining how can we break cycles of poverty? How can we help keep our kids from dropping out of school? How can we do things that will really impact their lives in a lasting way?"
The 'Dare to Dream Talent Show' is open to people 14 to 21-years-old. The first audition for it will be held this Saturday, March 1st from 1 until 4 PM at the MCCSA building in Meridian. For more information about registering call officials at the NFusion X office in Meridian at (601) 693-3806.
Registration forms for the event can be found on the Facebook page for NFusion X. The 'Dare to Dream Talent Show' will be held Friday, April 4th at 6 PM at the Frank Cochran Center in Meridian.