Pearl River Ministerial Alliance strives to help out community

Published 7:00 am Friday, July 8, 2016

Minister David Lee Hughes shares his love of helping others, receiving many awards for his displays of compassion.

Minister David Lee Hughes shares his love of helping others, receiving many awards for his displays of compassion.

The Pearl River Ministerial Alliance is dedicated to helping the community, and for them, that begins with some of Pearl River County’s top students.

Alliance Secretary Minister, David Lee Hughes, said they focus on celebrating the successes of children in the community, such as graduating from high school, earning good grades, and volunteering in the community.

Today, at 7:00 p.m., the Alliance is hosting their annual Scholarship Revival Fundraiser, which is an award ceremony for students who recently graduated from local high schools with at least a “C” average.

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Hughes said scholarships given to students are supplemental. The funds are not sent directly to colleges, instead they are given to students to use as they see fit. Each scholarship recipient will receive $500.

“This scholarship can help these kids with expenses they might run into when they get to college. They might need some books or have to pay an online fee for a class and this money is provided for that purpose,” said Hughes.

The scholarship has helped 17 students since 2011 and five more will be awarded to today, Hughes said.

The scholarship recipients are each represented by a church or ministry for their outstanding academics.

The 2016 recipients are Gloria Antoine, Anointed Dove Ministries, Picayune; Q’lanna White, Triumph Baptist Church, Poplarville; Christopher Fairely, Triumph Baptist Church, Poplarville; Joseph Spiers, First Baptist Church, McNeill and Shantel Acker, The Lighthouse International Pentecostal Church, Picayune.

For Hughes, helping these students begin the next chapter in their lives is more than just a kind gesture.

“When I was going to the next step in my life like these kids, I didn’t have the boost from mentors to guide me through what I needed to do to achieve my goals. So now I have that opportunity to be there for these kids and I help them out during this complicated time in their lives. I want to give them the opportunities I wish I had and that I felt were necessary in order to achieve what you have always wanted,” said Hughes.

During the application process, Hughes asks each student to write a 500-word essay on what they want to do in life and how the scholarship could help them.

After the students leave for college, Hughes said he still mentors and checks up on them to see how they are progressing.

“I love being a mentor for these kids. If they ever run into a difficult scenario, I try and help them out as much as I can. Helping the community and these kids is my gift from God and I try to use it everyday. I always tell the kids to find something that makes them happy and find a way to make money doing it,” said Hughes.

In addition to the fundraiser, Hughes said the Alliance gets involved in other community activities, like providing food to senior citizens on Thanksgiving who cannot afford it or have no where to go for the holiday.

Also, the Alliance is planning to have a community music festival to showcase the positive musical talents in the community, Hughes said. The Alliance will determine when the festival will be held at their meeting in early August.

The community is invited to support the scholarship fundraiser by attending the event today at The Lighthouse Pentecostal Church, located at 1001 South Highway 11, Picayune. For more information about the Alliance or how to apply for the scholarship, call Hughes at 228-304-7219.