Local teen on governor’s councilPublished 12:04am Wednesday, June 26, 2013
FAYETTE — DiMaya Randle always considered herself as the voice of her classmates.
“I’m always the one to speak up in class or looking to get involved,” Randle said. “I guess I was like the spokesperson all the time.”
Now the 15-year-old Jefferson County High School student will have the opportunity to be an official spokesperson for her peers and community members after being selected to represent Jefferson County on the Governor’s Healthy Teens for a Better Mississippi Teen Youth Advisory Council.
The advisory council is a part of Gov. Phil Bryant’s Healthy Teens for a Better Mississippi Task Force, which is aimed to create a comprehensive campaign to reduce and prevent teen pregnancy.
Randle said she heard about the opportunity to apply at school and decided to turn in an application.
“I think it was a good chance to get involved with this organization and help boost my confidence a bit,” Randle said. “I turned in an application, recommendation letter and filled out a section on why I wanted to be selected.
“I got called for an interview after and answered a bunch of different questions.”
Jannell Edwards, community co-chair of the state and local action committee, conducted the interview and said Randle impressed her.
“She is only a rising sophomore but already has that mentality and maturity level to go further,” Edwards said. “We’re expecting great things from her in the future.”
Randle’s main responsibilities on the advisory council will be to attend training sessions and meetings of the task force and share the information with her classmates and community members at town hall meetings.
That information will mainly deal with addressing the issues of teenage pregnancy in Jefferson County and across the state, Edwards said.
“We need someone who is going to attend the conferences, meetings and trainings and then (spread) that information back into the community,” Edwards said. “We’re very proud and excited to have Mrs. Randle on board.”
Mississippi has some of the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the nation and Jefferson County’s rate is among the top 20 highest in the 82 Mississippi counties, Edwards said.
Randle said she’s looking forward to bringing back information to her community that could help lower the rate of teenage pregnancy in her area.
“To have a representative of Jefferson County participating makes us stand out and show everyone that we want to change,” Randle said. “I’ll also get feedback from them and take it back to the meetings later on.
“I was happy to be selected because I’ll be able to share information with people and help them learn more about things they might not have known before.”
Randle attended her first training session in late May in Jackson and got the opportunity to meet Mississippi First Lady Deborah Bryant.
Randle is the daughter of Frances and Lawrence Randle.