Teen Summit spots still open

Published 11:11 pm Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Spots for parents and youth are still open at this weekend’s Teen Summit, and folks can register for the open spots at a block party set for Friday.

The summit will be held Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 100 E. Constance Road. The block party will take place Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Constant’s Wharf Park, behind the hotel.

“We want to provide youth an atmosphere where they can be comfortable talking about the issues they encounter on a daily basis,” said Ashley Sessoms, a recreation specialist with the Suffolk Department of Parks and Recreation. “We hear the community asking us to do more events like this, so we definitely want to put something on this year.”

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A similar event last year was the first in what the city hopes to make an annual series, Sessoms said.

Youth ages 11 to 17, parents and youth service providers are welcome to attend. The event is free, but registration is required.

Experts will lead sessions on various topics, tailored to the age of the participants. Youth can join sessions about gang violence and prevention, drugs and alcohol, sexually transmitted diseases, healthy relationships and a variety of other topics.

Parents will have the opportunity to sit with community leaders on a community panel and ask questions, Sessoms said.

A college panel with current and recently graduated college students also will be held to answer questions on the “real side” of college life, Sessoms said. College representatives also will be available.

“They will talk about what they wish somebody would have told them about going to college,” Sessoms said.

Friday night’s block party kick-off event is also free and open to the public. It will include free food, bounce houses, face painting and other activities, Sessoms said.

For more information, call 514-7250.