UNION COUNTY, Ark. (07/27/20) — St. John Missionary Baptist Church and Fairview Community Development Association is partnering with Dr. Ezinne Nwude for a special talk with teens and young adults about this pandemic.
“I want to let everyone know how important it is for us all to tune in because this will be the glue,” Dr. Nwude said. “This discussion will get us thinking and acting.”
The conversation will feature Dr. Nwude and Pastor Barry Dobson of St. John MBC as the moderators. The guest panel will consist of four teens in Union County including Stinson Battisto, DaMario Buffert, Katie Ford and Kayla Hill.
Battisto will start her senior year of high school at Parkers Chapel in August. When the pandemic forced schools to close last March, she felt a range of emotions and anxiety.
“I’m kind of confused a little bit,” Battisto said. “I got the end of my junior year taken. I didn’t lose what seniors lost but I’m going into my senior year scared that I could get sick, scared that I could give it to someone else. I’m also scared that I won’t know what to do when the time comes to apply for colleges.”
Dr. Nwude and Pastor Dobson wanted to bring the teens together to talk and allow adults to listen to their concerns.
“Fear is a very powerful force but the most powerful force is love,” Dr.Nwude said. “These young people need to know from us the adults and parents that they are loved. They need to see the action. They need to hear it.”
Battisto is encouraging her peers especially to tune in.
“You’re not alone. You can talk to people,” she said. “I want people to know that it’s okay to start that conversation. You don’t have to be afraid.”
The discussion will air on the St. John Baptist Church Facebook page at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28.