JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A local college is hoping to make a difference in the lives of middle and high school students.
Hinds Community College kicked off its first ever youth development conference Wednesday.
Hundreds of students were bused in from schools throughout Central and Southwest Mississippi.
The males-only conference focused on topics like anger management and STD prevention.
"We understand that for their lives to go in the right direction, these are some of the things they'll have to do. They have to think critically. Ultimately, that's what we're hoping to achieve here, that's the whole purpose of this conference," said Gloria Daniels, division chair for education and social sciences at the Hinds Community College Utica Campus.
"It's very, very much of a need, because if you look at the statistics, a lot of males grow up without their father, and they need some kind of mentoring to keep them on a straight path," said Ross Walton, student mentor and student body president at the Hinds Community College Utica Campus.
Students were grouped by age and attended workshops after the conference kicked off with keynote speaker Antonio Wright, defensive coordinator for the McComb High School football team and P.E. teacher at Kennedy Elementary School.
Hinds Community College plans to continue the mentoring program for middle and high school students by sending peer advisors to those schools.
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