Automaker donates $50,000, funds afterschool program

PONTOTOC, Miss. (August 15, 2018) — Fifty at-risk teens in Pontotoc County have brighter futures thanks to Helping Other People Excel (H.O.P.E.) Afterschool. Toyota Mississippi gifted Transforming Lives Ministries with $50,000 to launch the free 10-month after-school program, which will focus on life skills education.
“Not having a support system to provide responsible guidance is a real problem for many teens in our area,” said Leah Morrison, Transforming Lives Ministries executive director and curriculum coordinator. “Our goal is to provide life skills education to at-risk youth and to build our next generation of leaders.”
Toyota is taking its support a step further by deploying one of its business partnering groups, Mississippi Young Professionals (MSYP), to mentor students during the program. Anthony Bowdry, Toyota group leader and MSYP chairman found himself at a crossroads during his teens and knows life skills training and positive role models can change the trajectory for at-risk youth.
“I know what these kids are up against,” Bowdry said. “My life would have gone down a much different path without positive role models, and I know mentoring these kids will make a difference in their lives.”
H.O.P.E. Afterschool will take place at Transforming Lives Ministries, located at 17 Lafayette Street, Pontotoc, Miss., from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday during the 2018-2019 school year. Students age 13 to 18 enrolled in Pontotoc City or County Schools are eligible to participate in the program. Contact Leah Morrison at 662-891-8120 for more information or to enroll a child in the program.

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 36 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 47,000 people (more than 37,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.7 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2017 – and about 87 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.  
Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit

Emily Wilemon-Holland
(662) 507-5148


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TMMMS 2018-2019 H.O.P.E Program Donation 01

Toyota Mississippi has gifted Transforming Lives Ministries with $50,000 to launch a free 10-month after-school program, which will focus on life skills education.

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