College Heights church hosts HYPE youth summit


College Heights Church of Christ, 1313 N. Magnolia St., recently hosted its 2nd annual HYPE Summer Palooza and Youth Crime Prevention Summit Saturday, June 28.

HYPE (Helping Young People Excel) aims to provide enrichment opportunities to community youth with an interest in social, cultural and educational experiences and exploration.

Activities included a panel discussion with officials from the city of Pine Bluff, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, Pine Bluff Police Department, Jack Jones Juvenile Justice Center and the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Nearly 200 residents turned out to hear the positive approaches the local government has taken to improve the quality of life youth. The event focused on bringing awareness to the challenges that youth face while acknowledging community spirit.

HYPE’s youth mentorship program focuses on one-on-one mentor-ship, professional and leadership development, and community resource awareness.

“HYPE believes that when young people are aided with the right ingredients to maximize their potential, they take responsibility for things that truly matter,” said coordinator Tomekia Moore. “The program views young people as assets to be developed, not problems to be solved.”

Activities for youth included a 40-foot water slide and games such as cake walks and egg tosses. Special appearances were made by Spider Man and McGruff the Crime Dog.

Door prizes were donated by Jack & Jill Fun Zone, Carmike Cinemas at The Pines Mall, Thunder Lanes Bowling Alley and Skateland Skating Rink.

To register youth for HYPE programs or for details, contact Tomekia Moore at 870-872-2229.