REFORM (Resiliency. Empowerment. Faith. OveRcoMer) Inc. announces its programs and upcoming events.

The 501c3 non-profit organization is planning events to benefit young people in Pine Bluff, Melrita M. Johnson, REFORM president/founder, said in a news release.

REFORM will now assist participants from 10 to 24 years old and will also begin BLAZE Academy in August. BLAZE stands for Becoming Leaders and Acquiring skills as we Zealously Empower our lives.

BLAZE Academy will host an interest meeting for parents and young people at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 26, at Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, 2507 Hill St.

The program aims to empower transitional, independent-aged young people to become leaders in their communities by preparing them with the skills and knowledge needed through assistance in the home, social, and education system, according to the news release.

BLAZE Academy will provide a mentoring program, apprenticeships, music education and health component and community family nights. REFORM will partner with local businesses and intends to cultivate more partnerships with other local, state and national for- and not-for-profit agencies and churches.

Back to School Extravaganza

REFORM will host its second Back to School Extravaganza from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The agency is seeking the assistance of the community and its partners in this effort.

The goal is to give away more than 500 backpacks along with school supplies. The agency is accepting donations. Also, other groups are urged to to set their booths to hand out school supplies and information about their organizations. There will be a DJ, game trucks, bounce house and door prizes. The community is invited to attend.

Empowerment Summit

REFORM will host its fourth Youth Teen and Young Adult Empowerment Summit from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the convention center.

Registration for the summit will open at the back-to-school event and will close mid-September (or when all spots are filled) for attendees aged 10-18. The event will offer motivational and educational speakers, health education and screenings, activities, door prizes and vendors.

After the summit, all registered attendees will be taken to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Golden Lions scheduled home game against the Jackson State University Tigers. The agency would like to provide breakfast, lunch and items to commemorate the events of the day, along with a ticket to the game and transportation. The session is free to the attendee.


Johnson said there will be fundraisers to finance events. The next fundraiser will be held at the REFORM office, 805 W. Sixth Ave., from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 30. The agency will also accept sponsorships and donations. The deadline for sponsorships will be mid-September.

Donations are tax deductible. Details: Melrita M Johnson, 870-872-3676, or