YouthUp Hosts ‘Real Talk for Stronger Families’ Sessions as Part of MVP Program

YouthUp Hosts ‘Real Talk for Stronger Families’ Sessions as Part of MVP Program

YouthUp, Inc. has launched monthly sessions titled “Real Talk for Stronger Families” as a component of the Macon Violence Prevention (MVP) program. Collaborating with the Parks and Recreation Department, these sessions aim to enhance communication among youth, parents, and grandparents to address challenges teens may encounter.

“We want everyone to have a seat at the table and to have a voice in improving our lives and our futures,” said YouthUp Executive Director Amanda Smith.

Mayor Lester Miller applauded the initiative, attributing a 43% decline in the homicide rate to community outreach efforts by nonprofit organizations like YouthUp. “I want to thank YouthUp and all our MVP partners for working daily to create stronger families and better futures for our children,” stated Mayor Miller.

The sessions are open to the public but require registration due to limited space. The next session is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, at 6:00 p.m. at the Rosa Jackson Recreation Center (1211 Maynard Street). To register, individuals can email or call 478-733-8602.

Each session includes food, icebreaker activities, discussions on the topic of the evening, addressing family challenges, and collaborative problem-solving.

The inaugural session held on March 12 at the Rosa Jackson Center focused on peer pressure. Participants exchanged insights and tips, fostering positive interactions between older and younger teens.

Following the session, four teens joined YouthUp’s Youth Leadership Council, committed to organizing fundraisers, youth rallies, and community cleanups. The Council promotes nonviolent conflict resolution and encourages peer support.

“We are deeply grateful for our partnerships with MVP, the Peyton Anderson Foundation, and the Parks and Recreation Department,” expressed Smith. “It STILL takes a village.”

YouthUp, a participant in the MVP program, received a $20,000 grant from Macon-Bibb County through the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. Despite being in its infancy, MVP has significantly contributed to community safety, evidenced by a 43% reduction in homicides from 2022 to 2023.

Mayor Miller emphasized the necessity of long-term solutions for sustained progress in public safety. He lauded the collaborative efforts of partners and highlighted Macon-Bibb County’s remarkable 43% decline in the homicide rate, surpassing reductions seen in other cities like Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, Mobile (Alabama), and Jackson (Mississippi).