SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) — Latasha Barnes has helped thousands of people across Savannah as the founder and CEO of Saving Our Youth Savannah.

Today, she is being honored with the MLK Observance Day Association’s Trailblazer Award. 

Growing up in the city of Savannah, Latasha Barnes says it wasn’t an easy journey.

“I’m not gonna say I had an easy life, I’m not gonna say I had the worst life, but I’ve been through a lot of things,” said Barnes. 

Barnes says her own struggles pushed her to want to do something that would better her community.

“So, I went from literally being a troubled teen to seeing the need in my community as I grew, to wanting to get involved because when I grew up it was something called a village. And, it wasn’t if you’re family or not, if wasn’t if you had it or not, you never knew that because the village stepped in and provided for so many people. And, I witnessed that every day,” Barnes told WSAV News 3.  

Through her mission to serve those in need, she started her own organization called Saving Our Youth Savannah. 

Barnes said, “We provide meals for families, we help with housing whenever we could. We do a lot with people in need. Resources, we kinda connect dots, to see what we can do to be of a provision into a family or a child, or whatever we can do to help, the necessities in life”.

Barnes has helped thousands of families across the hostess city and says she doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“The drive comes when you are sitting there seeing it day to day, day in and day out, night in, night out. It’s not a one-time thing because we don’t do this one time a year or holidays, we do this 365. So, the need, and you know we’re not a big organization, so we don’t get the big funding, we don’t get the big help. But, we take the crumbs and we make a loaf of bread,” Barnes said. 

And for anyone out there who has a dream, Barnes says to keep going and never give up

“It starts by stepping out on faith. It starts by having faith the size of a mustard seed. When I started I didn’t have five people that believed in me. I had people, I’m not gonna say it wasn’t easy, I went through slander, I went through being kicked, I’ve been through it all. But, if this is what God has given you, it’s for you. Everyone ain’t meant to understand your assignment. Fight for your dream, fight for your beliefs, fight for your vision. In due season, God will send and align those who are meant to be with you,” stated Barnes.