New Era Port Gibson members bring hope to community
A budding group of Alcorn State University graduates and Port Gibson, Mississippi natives are working tirelessly to bring a positive change to Claiborne County.
“Through New Era Port Gibson, we aspire to uplift the youth of Port Gibson and inspire them to defeat negative stereotypes associated with our city,” said DeAundra Epherson, who is a member of the organization and 2014 Alcorn graduate. “We hope to encourage them to go beyond the barriers they may face in order to achieve their biggest dreams and tackle their greatest fears.”
New Era Port Gibson, which was started earlier this year, is a non-profit organization aimed at serving and uplifting the youth and community. The organization’s mission is to give the youth the necessary tools to change their mindset and make something out of themselves. Their goal is to show everyone in the community that they can make a difference.
So far, the organization has made a huge impact in the community. Recently, they spent Halloween passing out goody bags and spending time with the residents at the Claiborne County Senior Care Center. They’ve also reached out to the elderly by cleaning their yards during their Elderly Yard Work Day. Their first event, The Youth Summit and Barbeque, provided information and statistics on teen pregnancy and prevention, the path to college, how to land a job, preventing gang affiliation and violence, and information on community involvement.
Shaun Bishop, who also graduated from Alcorn in 2014, said the group’s inception was inspired by a need to provide positive examples for the city’s youth to emulate.
“The lack of positive influences in the community is what inspired us to start New Era,” said Bishop. “We all believe that this city is filled with great individuals with many talents, but some of them never reach their full potential. We saw that our youth needed someone who could steer them in the right direction. So, rather than waiting around on something to happen, we decided to make it happen ourselves.”
For Morris Bevily, who attends the University of Southern Mississippi, setting the standard for the youth is the best part of being a member of the organization.
“Helping our youth in any way brings us the ultimate joy,” said Bevily. “We know that our youth are watching. They are seeking someone to look up to and it is an honor for us to possibly be that for them. We look to build relationships with our youth. Hopefully, they can pick up some positive characteristics to pass on to others.”
The organization plans to continue its community service by hosting a food and toy drive for the less fortunate during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.