Natchitoches’ Ben Johnson Educational Center held its inaugural “Walk With Me” event at the Ben Johnson Park Saturday, October 3. The event was a collaboration between the Ben Johnson Educational Center and the Rapides Foundation and was designed to promote healthy eating, exercise and other healthy habits. Natchitoches’ First Lady Tiffany O. Williams was the honorary chairperson of the mile long excursion on the park’s walking track. She was joined by her husband, children and a group of about 50 walkers. The Outpatient Medical Center was on hand with information about the services they offer as well as information on healthy living.
District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington and his wife joined several members of the city council, school board and Krewe of Excellence in walking and promoting better health in the community.
A large contingent of civic minded NSU students came to help. NSU’s Helping Hands organization was on hand as well as student and alumni members of the university’s various Greek organizations. Three energetic young men from the NSU Demon football team under assistant coach De’Von Lockett got the crowd warmed up and motivated.
The Ben Johnson Educational Center does many good works in our city. You may have heard of the Legacy Café, a superb restaurant by any measure. The Legacy Café is an integral part of the center’s mission of education. The Ben Johnson Educational Center’s Legacy Youth Workforce Development Team is looking for young men and women between the ages of 17-24 who are out of school and out of work and who are looking for an opportunity for change and growth. Students in the program are paid for training, have an opportunity to earn their high school equivalency if they did not graduate from high school and to earn industry certifications and work experience. The program is a life changing one that has helped many a young person discover talents and abilities they did not realize they possessed.