Thursday, July 12, 2007

Everyday Heroes: The STARS Program

What is an Everyday Hero? Everyday Heroes are individuals making a difference in their communities. They usually aren't celebrities or in the public eye. These individuals give of their time, talent and treasure in a variety of ways to inspire our youth and help families and communities thrive. This post is the first in a series entitled Everyday Heroes which will highlight their stories and their inspiration for giving back.

Two years ago, Norita Horne began a mentoring program in her home with three young men in Warner Robins, Georgia. She named the program S.T.A.R.S. (Successful Teens Achieving the Right Solution). They talked about a variety of topics, including current events and the youth received help with their homework. Today the program mentors 35 youth ages 13 to 19 and has 20 dedicated adult mentors.

The youth in the program decided to host a talent fest with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Air Force Family Readiness Center in Warner Robins, Georgia. (I think this is great! Youth are getting an early start to philanthropic giving!)

The talent fest was held on Saturday, June 23rd, at the historic Douglas Theater in Macon, Georgia. The sell out show was a success--the managers of the theater have already asked the organization to make their talent fest an annual event. Their goal for the next talent fest is to gain the support of well known acts that would be willing to participate in the show.

Keith A. Wilcott, a mentor with the program says that their goal was to convey to the youth that they can achieve even if that which they seek is out of their comfort zone. He says the show was successful in that many of the youth have found their calling.

{Pictured above from left to right: Rashaad Alexander, Elbert Boykin, Carmen Fulton, Gloria O'Neal, T Sgt. Michael Bullard, Norita Horne, Phil Horne, Ratesha LeShoure, Rishawn Conerly and Keith Walcott}

A reception was held for those who participated with making the talent fest a success:

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For more information on the STARS program, contact Keith Walcott at keith@celebrityreportmagazine.com or 229-630-1474.

Are you or do you know an everyday hero? Share your story. Email me at blackgivesback[at]gmail[dot]com.

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