Youth outreach program debuts in Lafayette

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)  A state youth outreach program called MY LIFE made it’s way to Lafayette for the first time at the Martin Luther King Center Thursday night. Although the event featured singing, dancing, and games, the goal was to lay the foundation for a support system for local youth and young adults.

“Repeat after me,” said a speaker at Thursday’s event. “I can make it. I will survive.”

A few words of encouragement can go a long way. They can inspire people, especially children, and young adults, to realize their full potential. That’s the goal of the MY LIFE program. The group creates a local support system to help youth overcome obstacles in life and be successful.

MY LIFE State Coordinator Dashawn Harris says the program can tackle a variety of challenges youth face by creating an environment where they can talk about it. Harris says he’s motivated to help others reach their goals because he was able to overcome his own struggles. “I had anger issues. I come from a background where I didn’t have this or that and I used that as motivation. I made a choice in my life to push myself to do better and now I’m here. I love to see kids really being motivated and being pushed and once they’re pushed they can do better and be what they want to be.”

MY LIFE started in Baton Rouge and Shreveport in 2012 and continues to expand across the state. Lafayette City-Parish councilmen Pat Lewis sees the program as a positive outlet for children and young adults in his district and beyond. “We’re trying to make a difference and when they told me about MY LIFE I said we need to get on board with this. That way we can teach the kids before they get older, groomed or formatted into an area or situation that’s not beneficial to the community or to themselves.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to attend MY LIFE events every month. On May 5th, the group will host the 3rd annual Youth Day at the capitol where students can learn about the democratic process and interact with state representatives and senators. The event is free.

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