More than 1,000 people cast their vote for who they wanted to give a pat on the back and recognition for doing right by Southwest Georgia. You voted and the winners are Travis and Bridgette Mack with the Family Empowerment Center.
The Family Empowerment Center on Albany's Eastside is taking a different approach to uplifting the community. Director Bridgette Mack says the center serves an important purpose. "What we've decided to do is use the arts as a foundation to motivate our families, to educate our families. We've looked at some of the needs in the community and when God opened up the door to get this building we decided to use that as a platform to start educating and training not only the children, but our parents as well" says Mack.
The center has put on more than a dozen stage plays, and although its performing arts based, the main programs are educational. Key partnerships with organizations like the Dougherty County Department of Family and Children Services help promote education, information, job training, and workshops.
Travis Mack says his family has a passion for helping the community and hope to shed a new light on the Eastside. "The way you change an environment is not always moving away. The way you change an environment is you changing the mindset the way people think. If they think one way then that's the way their environment is going to be, but if we change their mindset then hey - you just changed the whole community, because now they're walking down a different path" says Mack.
The Mack's are planning to move into a bigger building, expand job training, hold more workshops, develop drama camps, dance programs, sponsor more stage plays, and add a computer lab to their facility. Since the family empowerment center is a non-profit organization money is always something they're in need of. "We have to have it to keep going to keep generating, but if we get the support that we need, we promise that we will do our best and we will succeed in helping change the mindset of this community" says Mack.