Thursday, May 6, 2010

Students At Peeples Middle School (Jxn,MS) Share Their Truth In "What Makes Me ME"

(Thurs. May 6, 2010) Since 1999 multi-media personality Cyrus Webb of Shadow Play Entertainment has been visiting schools throughout Mississippi sharing his message of hope with the students and the message that they can succeed at any cost.
On Tuesday, May 4th and Wed. May 5th, he along with recording artist Lo Watts of Playa Connected took the program called the Creative Arts Workshop into Mrs. Jacqueline Bolden's classes at Peeples Middle School. The objective? To show the students that they have more in common than most realize, but that doesn't have to hinder their success.

Over the two days, the students shared how their lives had been impacted by death, abuse, drugs, feelings of worthlessness and self esteem issues. During that same time, though, they also expressed hope for the future and their belief in their abilities to make a difference in the world.

On Day One of the workshop, Webb led the students in a writing exercise called "What Makes Me ME?" In their own words, they shared their experiences about events in their lives--both good and bad--that have shaped who they have become. They also discussed how they can begin working now to see changes in their community.

On Day Two the students participated in a revised version of musical chairs. Each class was assembled in the middle of the room. Webb asked them at the outset if there was one person in the class they thought they didn't have anything in common with. In each group, numerous hands shot up. Over the 5 periods that met on Wednesday, there were 65 students participating. Webb went on to tell them that he was going to ask a question, and if the question pertained to them, they should go and stand against the wall. Collectively, here were the results:

1) Have you had someone in your family or close to you die this year? 42 out of 65 responded yes.
2) Do you know someone in your family or among your friends that has been the victim of abuse? 9 of the 65 responded yes.
3) Does someone you know use or sell illegal drugs? 10 of the 65 responded yes.
4) Have you been picked on at school or know someone who has? 1 student responded yes.

Lo Watts also talked to some of the students about speaking out about what they are going through in life. "No matter what it is," he said, "you shouldn't hold it in."

Both Webb and Watts hope that their visits and similar ones at other schools will help open up a real conversation between students and the community. "I also want to show that all of us---whether we have children or not---have a responsibility to those molding our future," says Webb.

To find out more about what Cyrus Webb and his organization is doing to empower the youth, visit or

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