Community Leaders Are Stepping Up to Deliver a Message to Students

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PANAMA CITY-- With the recent violence in Panama City, community leaders are stepping up to deliver a message to students.

Pastors from all over Panama City are offering students their support and guidance on their first day back to school.

With school back in full swing that means students are dealing with a lot of stress. Not only in school, but at home as well.

That's why Pastor Kenric Conway of Family of God Baptist Church wants to make his presence felt at Bay District schools.

"I just want to be a symbol of many symbols here that our community does care," said Family of God Baptist Church Pastor Kenric Conway.

Rutherford High School's Principal said it's not just pastors who are stepping up. "We're happy to have an extra set of eyes on campus, whether it's the pastor, military members, or other community members, anyone who is willing to help us out," said Rutherford High School Principal Coy Pilson.

Students said they believe having a role model on campus allows them to have someone to talk to when they go through difficult times. "If I ever lost someone who was close to me it would be nice to have someone to talk to about it," said Rutherford High School student Emily Pritchard.

"I think it's a pretty good impact on us. It actually gives us more area to work with," said Rutherford High School student Thomas Conaway.

Pastor Conway said our children are our future and it's our job to make sure they can take refuge in our schools. "Let them know that they're worth it, we want our children to know that they have value to us, we believe that we can turn things around if we work together," said Pastor Conway.

Pastor Conway said he wants to continue to stay involved with the faculty and staff on campuses after Tuesday and continue to offer his support and guidance throughout the school year.

He also said, he and other community leaders want to continue mentoring young people outside the classroom by offering career and character development classes at both the church and at the Macedonia Garden apartments.