Resiliency Empowerment Faith Overcomer (REFORM) Inc. held its Youth, Teen, and Young Adult Empowerment Summit Nov. 4 at Mount Harmony Missionary Baptist Church at Pine Bluff.

More than 80 youth attended from cities such as Forrest City, Marked Tree, Wynne, Little Rock, Conway and Pine Bluff.

Melrita M. Johnson, a licensed social worker and founder and president of REFORM Inc., said she was very pleased with the attendance, sponsors, donations and volunteers.

The summit opened with Soldiers 4 Christ of Little Rock performing and the Poplar Street Zumba of Pine Bluff waking the youth up with a personal Zumba class, according to a press release.

Carol Johnson, director of Arkansas Fair Housing of Little Rock, presented a session on Leading by Example: Characteristics of Great Leadership.

Twelth grader Mekayle Taylor of Wynne High School led a session on Express Yourself: Alternative ways of Expressing How I Feel. Taylor also conducted a Cypher, where youth were able to develop methods of expressions through song, spoken word and poems.

Kimberly Jones of Little Rock led Self: Esteem: It Depends on Me, No one else. Breakout sessions occurred where Kisten Haynes, a minister of Little Rock, led the girls on a session about Relationships: I’m Going to Have to Teach You How to Love Me, and Andre Jones of Little Rock, led the boys on Man Up: Becoming a Man in Today’s Society.

Following the lunch break, Angela Roby of Pine Bluff, with Ambassadors for Christ, led a session on Social Media: What I show the world that could Affect my future and Human Trafficking. Glen Kimbrell of Memphis held a session on Dress or Success.

Dr. Tochi Keeton, a Jefferson Regional Medical Center OB/GYN, conducted a session on The Truth about Teen Pregnancy and STDs. The summit wrapped up with Laura Huff of Little Rock completing a session on Acceptance: Positive and Negative Ways We Try to Get it.

Johnson and others treated the youth to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions versus Grambling State University Tigers football game. Johnson stated for several of the youth and adults, this was the first time attending such a function. She stated the day was planned to leave a lasting impact on the possibilities of life for the youth and feels as though the mission was accomplished.

Johnson thanked participants and sponsors including Arkansas Fair Housing Commission, TOPPS Inc., Consolidated St. Marion Baptist District, Mt. Harmony church, Beta Beta and Epsilon Zeta Zeta Chapters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. and Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority. REFORM also donated items to the UAPB Campus Food Pantry. Johnson stated she is excited about the upcoming year.

New programs and events are being planned. Johnson stated this would be the last event for the year for REFORM, Inc. The 501c3 non-profit organization whose purpose is to empower transitional independent-aged youth and young adults from 14-24 to become leaders and to prepare them with the skills and knowledge needed through education, life skills, and vocational training will begin to take applications December 2017 and will be prepared to accept youth into the program January 2018.

To sign up youth, for details or to make contributions, contact Melrita M. Johnson at 870-519-9482, email, or visit