Helping Young People Excel announced new members during its first board of directors meeting Jan. 28.

Members of the 2017 HYPE Board of Directors are Dexter Lee, an administration at Pine Bluff School District; Joni Alexander, chief executive officer of Youth Exchange Services; Pine Bluff 4th Ward Alderman Steven Mays; Freddie Jolivette, parent coordinator at Pine Bluff School District; Sandra Boone, secretary of the Watson Chapel School Board; Christopher Blunt, educator at Lighthouse Charter School; Glenda Kennedy, educator of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Justin Wallace, minister of College Heights Church of Christ; and Tomekia Moore, executive director of HYPE, ex officio member.

“We aim to make this the year of the volunteer,” Lee said in a news release.

The program strives to reach even more youth throughout the year. Since its inception in 2012, HYPE has focused on the development of the “whole child.”

According to the release, HYPE has targeted several areas of work which include reducing delinquent behavior, increasing community awareness, building self-esteem, promoting higher education, enhancing leadership ability and promoting healthy socialization skills.

HYPE offers services in leadership and professional development, one-on-one mentorship, community resource trips and tutoring.

The HYPE Summit Series offers a monthly, relaxed setting in which youth are allowed to share their thoughts concerning topics of today. The program’s services are free.

“We are really excited about all of the possibilities that 2017 holds and what this means for our youth,” Moore said. “We look forward to breaking new ground in the community and building long-lasting, collaborative relationships with similar programs.”

For details on how to become a HYPE volunteer or to enroll a child in the program, contact Tomekia Moore at 870-872-2229.