Radical Youth Invasion comes to GHS

Published 3:53 pm Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Greenville students got to witness first-hand just how difficult it is to rip a phonebook in half.

The demonstration was one of many feats of strength during the Radical Youth Invasion program at GHS.

Mark Byron, director of RYI, said that they try to make the program interesting so it appeals to the younger crowd. The group focuses on delivering an anti-gang, anti-drug message, while putting an emphasis on making the right decisions.

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“We want young people to go after their dreams,” Byron said. “I hope that they realize that no matter who they are or what is in their past, today can be the beginning of the rest of their lives. They can be somebody.”

Greenville First Assembly of God was responsible for bringing RYI out to GHS Tuesday. Youth director Keith Simmons said he thought the group’s message was important enough for the students at GHS to hear.

“We want them to talk about the positive choices they could be making,” Simmons said.

The program grabbed the audience’s attention with feats of strength, like tearing phonebooks in half and breaking concrete blocks. Students also got to see a real bed of nails.

Simmons said a lot of the volunteers in the assembly had made bad decisions in the past and were able to speak from experience.

Byron, who presented the RYI program when GHS was still in the old building, said he’s proud to be back in Greenville, 25 countries and 48 states later.

“We just want to inspire kids not to settle for second best,” Byron said.