The Christian Awareness Program (CAP) recognized local youth and their contributions to the community at the first annual black history program at Baileytown Christian Church in Walnut Cove on Saturday afternoon.
Susan Dalton, a member of CAP for the last 10 years, said it was important to the non-profit to showcase young people furthering their education and give them a platform.
“They have their own story to tell,” she said. “They’re learning about black history. It’s important because you can’t move forward unless you know where you’ve come from.”
High school student Jhyaiyana Johns shared how she’s grown up as a caregiver for her mother who battles lupus. From a young age, she traveled to doctor’s appointments alongside her mother and admired the medical staff for their patience and care.
Recently Johns earned her certified nursing assistant license, and became one step closer to achieving her dream of becoming a registered nurse.
“That was the most important thing to me and my biggest accomplishment. None of that would have happened without my ancestors fighting for me to have a strong education. I know it was not an easy fight,” she said.
Johns recognized the army of women before her, who weren’t given the same opportunities to learn and thrive in school.
“They all fought hard, through blood, sweat and tears so my generation and my children’s children will have a future,” she said.
Thirteen-year-old Aubrianna Lash, a member of Baileytown Christian Church, said she’s always had a fascination with hair and decided she wanted to become a cosmetologist. After doing some research, she realized most cosmetology schools required students be at least 16. But she didn’t want to wait that long. Instead, she found a natural haircare school and enrolled in the program. Although the schedule proved rigorous, she passed.
“It was hard and there were some days I wanted to quit, but I graduated. I went on to the state board, and it was hard,” she said through a smile, “But I passed and I got my license. I go to school and I work every Saturday and some days during the week.”
Gordon Hairston, the minister at New London Primitive Baptist Church in Walnut Cove, applauded the young people and their zeal for life.
He encouraged them, along with the congregation, to consider their own legacy.
“When you study the philosophical teaching of Dr. King, one message stands out and that message is love. Love for God and love for fellowman. He taught love and he lived it. He demonstrated with his life and I believe we can do the same thing.”
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.