Published On: Fri, Jul 24th, 2015

Summit Encourages Students to Take Actions, Navigate Their Destiny

BRT Teen Summit

Delray Beach Police Officer helps student with a safety vest at the 2015 Teen Summit at Village Academy.

By CRA News Service

DELRAY BEACH – More than 350 youth from across Palm Beach Country attended the annual Teen Summit at Village Academy recently.

The students, mainly from summer programs, attended more than 15 breakout sessions developed around the theme STAND, “Students Taking Actions and Navigating Their Destiny,” which highlighted leadership, individual responsibility, goal setting, healthy living, and living up to potential.

The day-long conference focused on how to help young people thrive in their schools and communities.

“This was a very important summit,” saidAbagail Denson, who led a session on hygiene and etiquette for females. “Most of the girls didn’t have a clue what the meaning of self-esteem and how you build self-esteem. This program is very much needed in the community because many kids do not get that nurturing and caring because of their family status.”

The youth had an opportunity to participate other workshops on such topics as career planning, teen suicide prevention & education, how to conduct yourself when approached by law enforcement, economics, fitness, healthy eating and others intended to prepare them for their transition into adulthood.

There also were static presentations from the Delray Beach Police Department’s K-9 and SWAT units.

Participants were treated to lunch and each received a sack pack with a notebook and pencil.

BRT Teen Summit4

Delray Beach Police Officer Damien Ferraiolo provides Anti-Gang information at the 2015 Teen Summit at Village Academy.

Twan Russell, a former linebacker with the National Football League and currently the senior director of community affairs for the Miami Dolphins, kicked off the workshops by challenging the youth to have a goof work ethic.

“Set good goals, work hard and don’t give up,” he said. “Whatever you put your mind to, you can’t quit. You have to stay on the course.”

Several participants said they enjoyed the workshops, especially those where they received free giveaways.

Major Leonard B. Mitchell of the Riviera Beach Police Department challenged the youth on taking a stand against things that are unhealthy and wrong such as bullying, drugs and skipping classes.

“We are very excited by the participation,” said David Haynes, teen coordinator at the Achievement Center for Children & Families. “We were able to provide critical and important information to a few hundred kids who would normally not get this information.”

The students danced to music by a local disc jockey after the event.

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