A local group in Jefferson Davis County used the last Saturday of Summer as an opportunity to motivate students before they head back to school this week.
The Eureka Arts Federated Club of Prentiss hosted a Youth Extravaganza Saturday to get the community prepared and empowered for the first day of school.
Former students of Prentiss High School and Bassfield High School also returned to share their stories and struggles and success.
Brian Wilks, a graduate of Prentiss High School and Jackson State, was one of the speakers who shared their stories Saturday. Wilks currently works for the Jackson Visitor's Bureau.
"So many times there are so many individuals in Prentiss who haven't seen everyone make it out so to speak," said Wilks. "I knew that life was bigger, I knew I wanted to expand my educational background and I did that."
"Work hard and read books in the summer so they can pass to the other grade," said Cravarious, a boy getting ready for the fourth grade at G.W. Carver Elementary. Cravarious said he's excited about going back to school so he can go to college one day.
"So they can get their education and be in college and do all good things," Cravarious said.
Reverend Roy Thompson, of Spring Hill Missionary Baptist Church, offered the center to the group for the youth extravaganza.
"We want to show our kids that you can make it, even in this society, by being positive, by being obedient and following the rules," said Thompson. "Whenever we see the achievement of the ones who came, went away and then come back to contribute, I think it's really great."
Wilks said he hopes the children won't give up or set limits on themselves because of where they call home.
"Let's dream big," said Wilks. "If your goal is to go to Princeton, apply. I'd rather them tell you know than you tell yourself no."
The first day for the Jefferson Davis County School District is Friday, August 4, 2017. It will also be the first day for the Jefferson County Jaguars, following the consolidation of Prentiss and Bassfield High Schools.
For school supply lists and information across the Pine Belt, head to the WDAM Back To School Guide.