Teen motivational summit set

Published 8:43 pm Monday, August 6, 2012

A summit set for this month aims to get teens and parents motivated for the new school year and ready to make a difference in their own lives and in their communities.

The 2012 Suffolk Teen Summit will be held on Aug. 18. Spots are still available for the event, which the Suffolk Department of Parks and Recreation hopes will attract at least 200 youth and 50 adults to participate.

“We hope that the youth as well as the adults can walk away educated and motivated to get ready for the school year and make a change within themselves as well as the community,” said Ashley Sessoms, program coordinator for the Suffolk Department of Parks and Recreation. “We hope to have a good turnout and make this a yearly event.”


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Young people ages 11 to 17 will be able to participate in a variety of interactive sessions on topics such as relationships, healthy eating, exercise, bullying and social media.

In separate sessions, adults who work with young people will learn about passionate parenting and stress management, among other topics.

“We wanted to have a session that can bring the community together and provide them with educational sessions that are not just educational but interactive,” Sessoms said.

Other sessions feature discussions on volunteerism, tips on cancer prevention, and opportunities to get health screenings and shop at vendors. The theme for the conference is “motivation,” Sessoms added.

Presenters at the conference will include Greg Scott, founder of the Cover 3 Foundation and a former NFL player with the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Sessoms said. “We want to get the kids ready to go back to school and get them excited and hyped about starting the school year.”

Each teen at the summit will get free back-to-school supplies that are being collected at locations around the city.

In addition, a block party will be held to kick off the summit the night before at Constant’s Wharf from 7 to 10 p.m. It will feature music, live entertainment, food and giveaways.

The summit will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the downtown Hilton Garden Inn. Registration and check-in begin at 8 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, and limited transportation within Suffolk is available. Lunch will be served during the event.

The event is partially funded by a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. It is presented in partnership with the i2 Dream Big Foundation and the Virginia Faith Based Initiative.

For more information or to register, call Sessoms at 514-7244 or 514-7250.