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Summit helps teens prepare for future

Class was in session for local teens ages 13 to 17 from Gadsden and Leon County on Saturday in Quincy.

The Gadsden Chapter of National Hook-Up of Black Women Inc. hosted its second teen summit at Carter Parramore Academy. At this summit, about 75 local teens attended various workshops, including:

• Teen Money Management;

• College Preparation and Readiness;

• Social Media Etiquette;

• Improving Police and Youth Interactions;

• Wellness for Young Adults;

• Teens in the Juvenile Legal System; and

• Teen Bullying.

For about four hours, these teens sat in the school’s classrooms and listened to what the guest instructors had to say.

There was a wide variety of professional instructors, ranging from a police officer, a judge, a vice principal, a deputy sheriff, a registered nurse, a bank teller and a media specialist.

This really showed the teens that you can be anything you want and that anything is possible with hard work and dedication.

In each session there was not more than 10-15 students in each class.

So, this made these sessions very intimate and helped some teens open up more when it came to question-and-answer time.

The instructors all seemed eager to talk to the teens and they all kept it realistic with them.

Any questions that the teens asked were answered in the most honest way possible. The responses were the same for the teens.

One student said, “I want to be a lawyer or police officer because this system is messed up.”

In one session the teens were faced with the question, “What do you plan to do with your life?”

Then, the instructor gave various scenarios for their lives — stressing the importance of education. Quincy Police Chief Glenn Sapp was in charge of “Improving Police and Youth Interactions.”

His session went deeper than the topic listed. It was more about learning the motivations of these students.

It also made them think about what they want out of life and explained to them how to live purposely.

“The sooner you find out what your passion is, the better it will be for you,” Sapp said.

The instructors were very in tune with the teens and enjoyed their time. This showed in their presentations. The instructors had patience and a desire to teach what they had already learned to these kids.

Debra Ware Roberts, president of the host organization’s Gadsden Chapter, was very pleased with the outcome of this event because she said the teens received information that will help them to make decisions that matter.

“This Teen Summit is one of our national mandates and we look forward to continuing this event in Gadsden County,” Roberts said. “We will host our next summit in February 2019.”

Back to this year, surely each student took something away from this summit. And all attendees were well taken care of. They were well fed and they also left the summit fed with much more knowledge about the world than what they came in with.

For more information about the event or the National Hook-Up of Black Women Inc. – Gadsden Chapter, call Roberts at (850) 980-4729.

By Nia Muldrow