What’s Good In South Jersey? Cookies & Conversation – with Isaiah Showell

By: Isaiah Showell, Follow South Jersey Multimedia Journalist/’What’s Good’ Host

Students listening to inspirational speakers at the Cookies and Conversation in Millville. Photo credit: Isaiah Showell

MILLVILLE, N.J. — JT Burks, President of Positive Vibes group, hosted the inaugural Cookies and Conversation at Thunderbolt Academy introduced youth to the idea of attending college, specifically HBCUs.

“It’s an HBCU seminar to highlight HBCUs,” said Burks. “We’re riding the wave of coach Prime who’s been doing an excellent job with highlighting our HBCU’s through Jackson state University and we want to use that momentum to get the youth excited about HBCUs.”

Tracee Wells-Huggins, founder of Renewed Minds and Raw Wisdom, LLC., served as the emcee and shared her love for HBCUs with the youth.

South Jersey youth learning to be the best they can be at all times. It’s What’s Good in South Jersey — with Isaiah Showell.

“HBCUs are very special in my heart only because I had a greater appreciation for them after it was pass my season to attend one so I made sure my children would understand the importance of education,” said Huggins. “I actually sent my children to Cheyney and one went to St. Augustine’s University down in Raleigh, North Carolina.”

Entrepreneur Terrence Hickman, Regional Vice President of Primerica Financial Services, and educator Kristen Figueroa also went before the youth to share career wisdom and emphasize being a good example for the youth.

“I think it’s important to be a visual representation that the youth can relate to,” said Hickman. “I want them to see themselves in the person sitting on the panel so that was my goal today.”

“Being empowered is not just about ruling but also passing on knowledge and information and guiding those behind you,” said Figueroa. “So for me sitting here in front of kids that look like me whose parents I went to school with they see someone they know and are familiar with and it’s like I want them to say if she did it I can do it too.”

Azaziah Burks was one of the students who received the messages and was inspired by the words of the speakers. “I just didn’t know there was that many colleges, it inspired me to get my grades up and pay attention in school,” Burks said.

The event ended with the youth enjoying an assortment of cookies and reciting a pledge led by Huggins to be the best they can be at all times.

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