Georgia Suns Youth Empowerment Program Equips and Mentors Students for Success in Basketball and Beyond

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The Georgia Suns Youth Empowerment Program is gearing up for another exciting season of basketball, aiming to keep kids active and engaged in a positive environment. Led by CEO and Founder Melvin Flowers, the program emphasizes the importance of providing a drug-free space for youth to learn, grow, and showcase their talents.

Practice sessions for the upcoming season will kick off on Saturday, February 17 at the Frank Johnson Recreation Center, located at 2227 Mercer University Drive, starting at 3:00 p.m. These sessions will prepare the young athletes to compete against teams from across the Southeast, with the first games scheduled for the Ice Breaker Invitational in North Augusta, South Carolina on March 29-31.

Flowers expressed his dedication to the program, highlighting its role in keeping kids off the streets since its inception in the early 90s. The recent $40,000 grant from Macon Violence Prevention (MVP) funding has allowed the program to expand its reach, hire more staff, cover tournament registration fees, and support travel expenses for participating students. With approximately 45 students currently enrolled, this season marks the highest registration numbers to date.

Beyond basketball, participants also engage in community service activities with organizations like Keryx Ministries, Emau Programs, and the James Wimberly Institute. This weekend, some students will have the opportunity to visit the Civil Rights Museum in Alabama with the James Wimberly Institute.

The Georgia Suns Youth Empowerment Program welcomes students in 8th through 12th grade and continues to accept new members. For those interested in joining, registration is open, and inquiries can be directed to Melvin Flowers at (478) 501-2525.

About Georgia Suns Youth Empowerment Program 

Georgia Suns is a non-profit organization made up of volunteers who have a strong interest in the well-being of the children of our community, providing them with a safe, drug-free opportunity for personal growth and development through a competitive basketball experience. 

About the Macon Violence Prevention Program

Macon Violence Prevention is an evidence-based, multifaceted program created to address public safety in Macon-Bibb County. Supported and funded by the consolidated government, MVP is a community-wide effort that brings together elected officials, community leaders and representatives from more than 20 agencies, organizations, and departments. It has been credited as a central reason the homicide rate dropped by 43% in one year.

The MVP program operates under the guidance of the MVP Strategic Plan, which was created in June of 2021 by community stakeholders and violent crime experts. The plan combines data and research with community feedback to identify and implement proven solutions that reduce violent crime and strengthen the community over time.

In its first two years, Macon-Bibb and the Community Foundation of Central Georgia have awarded more than $1.6 million to 56 local nonprofit organizations that have identified proven or innovative solutions to reducing violent crime.

“The solution to violent crime in our community will be found in all of us working together on the same team,” explained Mayor Lester Miller. “The fact that so many people have stepped forward shows that our community is committed to this historic effort. If we continue to work together, we will create a safer, stronger community now and for future generations.”