Youth empowerment workshop motivates foster children - - Jackson, MS

Youth empowerment workshop motivates foster children

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Some children in Mississippi's foster care system are learning how to cope with life changes and make decisions that can affect their future. It's part of a three day conference that will address the well-being of children in this state.    

"Some of the words that come out of our mouth to our youth can be harmful," said Retired NFL Defensive End Lawrence Pillers during the first workshop of the Mississippi Child Welfare Institute.

He spoke to parents, guardians, children and foster children.

Some children in foster care learned about tools and resources available to help them become more productive.

Pillers, a father and grandfather who played football for the Jets and San Francisco 49ers, addressed parents about the relationships with their children.
He also offered hope to children in foster care.

"Even if they are in an environment that they don't feel like they're safe to communicate, there are other avenues that we're gonna give them that they'll be able to communicate to some one if they're being abused. If they feel neglected or if they're sick," said Pillers.

Motivational speaker Tirra Braddy, of Jackson, who was once homeless, talked about  focusing on and setting goals for success, believing in yourself and determining your success.

"Stay hopeful and not to be afraid to tell someone if things aren't going the way that they should be going, to speak out," added Braddy. "Never be afraid to speak out and so that's my word for the foster kids today." 

There are more than 3,000 children in Mississippi's foster care system. 

The newly appointed Division of Family Services executive director Dr. David Chandler, who is charged with overhauling the foster care system, will be conference's keynote speaker Thursday morning at 8:30 at the Jackson Marriott.

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