Royse City resident Durale Harper is on a mission to spread a positive message about leadership to local youth.

Last year, through an organization that he helped start called the D&J Empowerment Group, Harper brought together about 50 kids for a leadership event that mixed fun with lessons about goal setting and community service.

For this year’s event, the empowerment group is looking at an outing to a Texas Rangers baseball game sometime in June.

“We’re trying to encourage, inspire and empower our youth and we’re trying to implement tools they can use to not only better themselves, but people around them,” Harper said.

Harper, who moved to Royse City in 2016, said he witnessed racism first-hand while growing up as a black American in a small town in Oklahoma.

Having found a talent for public speaking in adulthood, Harper used his experiences to spread a positive message to youth.

Many people in the Royse City community in April were disheartened to hear reports of a student at Royse City High School wearing a Confederate flag as a cape on campus.

Harper, who has children who attend school in the district, said the June event will bring help students understand the importance of bringing unique experiences together to improve their surroundings.

“This event helps them understand how it is to work with people from different backgrounds and communities,” Harper said. “It also helps them individually, because it will make them better leaders and servants to their community.”

An adult guardian is required to attend the event with all students who qualify to participate in the event.

The empowerment group requires that participants make an “A” on a test in a core class, such as math, science and language arts. Each test score and name that is submitted to the group is considered a entry for a drawing at the event.

Students must also finish a community service requirement that is completed online, DJEmpowerment.Com.

The event will include goal setting and team building events for students before they are treated to a buffet game at the Texas Rangers stadium at a June baseball game.

Organizers are still in the middle of determining the date for the event, but deadline for participants to sign up for the event will be in mid-May. There are a limited number of spots for the event.

Those who are interested can email the D&J Empowerment Group, info@djempowerment.com.