Youth summit this weekend in Dist. 1

A Youth Empowerment Summit, “YES”, will be held Friday and Saturday for children and youths ages 13-19 years old, who are currently enrolled at Glencoe Charter, B.E. Boudreaux Middle School and West St. Mary High Schools.

The summit is being hosted by the St. Mary District 1 Leadership Team (organized by parish councilman Craig A. Mathews.

It will feature information and training relative to sensitive issues that are adversely affecting teens across local communities. Among those topics featured are bullying prevention; tobacco, alcohol, and drug prevention; teen pregnancy prevention; HIV/STD awareness; advanced education and career preparation; introduction to financial literacy; choosing healthy relationships; appropriate parental/adult interaction and respect; fostering a positive self identity; and many more.

Multiple expert presenters will facilitate work groups including breakfast roundtables, an opening general session keynote speaker, various breakout sessions, and an interactive question and answer forum featuring panelists from a broad spectrum of college students and young adult professionals. Friday night is a “lock-in,” thus, sleeping bags or blankets are required.

“The St. Mary District 1 Leadership Team is to be commended for its vision and tenacity to raise the bar for personal growth and leadership training of youths in our parish by organizing this momentous empowerment opportunity, and I am honored to have worked along with and developed such innovative strategies with some of the greatest leaders I’ve observed in the country, right here in St. Mary Parish!” Mathews said.

The District 1 Leadership Team identified as one of its priorities several years ago, the formation of a Youth Empowerment Team to serve alongside itself, particularly for the purpose of envisioning and developing leadership opportunities for children and youths across the west end of the parish. During the 2011 Summer Enrichment Program the YET initiative (Youth Empowerment Training) was launched utilizing an evidenced-based curriculum known as “Winning Futures.” This first Youth Empowerment Summit is part of the core strategies focused on leadership training and precedes a host of other empowerment activities to come!

“We are encouraging all area youths to participate in these enlightening experiences, and we sincerely hope that parents and other caregivers will strongly support our efforts to strengthen and motivate their children to make healthy, positive, and sustainable choices that will propel them into productive lifestyles,” said Rev. Donald R. Grimm, District 1 Community Liaison.

Although the Summit is free, prior registration is required and registration forms are available in each school office, as well as at the West St. Mary Civic Center. For more information please call (337) 276-4896.

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