PINE BLUFF, Ark. – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will host its annual Youth Motivation Task Force (YMTF) program February 23-25. With the theme, From the Classroom to the Boardroom…Students in Transition, YMTF has become one of the most significant and exhilarating programs provided for UAPB students. The goal of the program is to encourage students to take full advantage of the benefits available, give guidance on how to succeed in their careers, and look at life in the real world of work through the experiences of seasoned professionals.
With more than 25 employer participants (partners) registered, they contribute to YMTF each year by providing financial support, serving on panels, conducting workshops, visiting classes or just chatting with students one-on-one about workplace expectations. Student liaisons also have a very crucial role to play with the consultant and team they support. Many still enjoy mentoring relationships with their consultants from previous years.
Sponsored by Christus Health, USDA-ARS, Eaton Corporation, Monsanto and Walmart/Sam’s Club, the program begins on Sunday, February 23 with an invitation-only opening banquet where UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence B. Alexander will give the address.
The YMTF Assembly will feature Kirk Franklin, award-winning gospel artist as the speaker Tuesday, February 25 at 11:00 am in H.O. Clemmons arena of the Kenneth L. Johnson, Sr. Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Complex. The event is free and open to the public.
Kirk Franklin is a multi-platinum-selling artist whose fusion of gospel and contemporary music has inspired audiences across generations. As a mirror of Christian humanity, he boldly reflects what one faith-walking man can accomplish when he focuses on God and taps deep into the gifts he has been given.
Franklin is a pioneer in bridging gaps among various musical styles, uniting audiences across gospel, hip-hop, pop, and R&B. His irresistible rhythms and rhapsodies have resulted in albums that consistently top Billboard’s gospel and Christian charts, as well as the Top 10 of the R&B/Hip Hop chart. He is also the New York Times best-selling author of The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life’s Storms and is the host and executive producer of the gospel talent show Sunday Best, the highest-rated gospel program in BET network history. To date, Franklin has garnered nine Grammy Awards, 39 Stellar Awards, 16 Dove Awards, eight NAACP Image Awards, two BET Awards, an American Music Award, and a Soul Train Award.
Despite all of these honors and acclaims, Franklin has never hid behind his celebrity status and has remained connected to his audiences through his music and frank discussions of life. He openly shares the fact that he was abandoned by his parents as a child and is one of the most relatable and respected speakers in the music industry.
Franklin is the biggest-selling contemporary gospel artist in the history of SoundScan. His latest album, Hello Fear, was RIAA-certified gold in February 2012 and he has seven additional RIAA-certified gold-, platinum-, and multi-platinum-selling releases to date.
An entrepreneur, Kirk Franklin is also chairman and CEO of Fo Yo Soul Entertainment, Inc.—a full-service entertainment enterprise based in Dallas, Texas, launched in 2004. The venture is a multi-tiered company that includes a record label; Franklin’s solo recordings; his services as a record producer; Fo Yo Soul Productions, which manages Franklin’s tours, speaking, and performance engagements; and The Franklin Imagine Group, Franklin’s nonprofit. In addition to his business enterprises, humanitarian work, and ministerial responsibilities, Franklin continues to tour, both nationally and internationally. He completed the Gospel Comedy Tour with Steve Harvey in 2011 and the Live Nation-sponsored King’s Men Tour in 2012.
The YMTF program will also include an open forum called Let’s Rap that will allow students to ask questions about different situations that they may encounter in and outside the workforce. A Real Talk! Truth and Consequences Workshop will also be held for UAPB students to bring awareness to the consequences of the choices made, the character exhibited and the level of commitment in the workplace.
For more information about YMTF, call (870)575-8461 or visit www.uapb.edu/ymtf .