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Youth Summit Approaching
Registration closes February 4

Teens are watching the world splitting in pieces with no answers coming from adults or leadership. How do they face life with such adversity? Teens can get help preparing for life during and after high school through the ILEAD Youth Leadership Summit, set for Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. This free, one-day event is online this year and open to any high school-aged teen living in the Mid-Willamette Valley.

The summit will feature highly interactive workshops presented by guest speakers and teen panels. Participants choose from workshop topics covering personal and leadership development, mental health and self-care, workforce readiness and other “adulting” topics such as finances, credit, student loans, and insurance coverage.

“2020 was just a rough year for all of us, especially teens,” said Evyn Baker, a senior at West Salem High School and summit youth committee member.

His fellow committee member, Angel Franco, a junior at South Salem High School agreed. “As teens, we’re so used to going out and interacting with friends and teachers. Having school daily on a screen sounded like a dream until it happened. Now we’re left wondering what life after COVID and high school will look like.”

The youth committee decided to do something about it by bringing “sunshine vibes to the Mid-Willamette Valley.” Members representing Salem-Keizer, Central, and Woodburn school districts wanted to offer an online event experience where high schoolers could laugh, feel safe, improve their well-being, and reconnect with peers from the safety of their homes.

“I feel like the older I become, the more anxiety and stress I get from both school and knowing that I’m getting closer to becoming an adult,” said Jennifer Valdivia an 11th grader at McKay High School. “It’s just a very scary thought, especially when you have no idea how to do taxes, rent a house, or just don’t know what you want do after high school.” Youth Committee members hope the summit will begin to help their classmates who feel the same way.

Registration closes February 4, 2021. Registration link is found on the event website including a video tutorial on how to sign up for workshops. The event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and includes games, challenges, raffle prizes, breaks, a LIVE lounge, an event T-shirt and other swag for all teen participants.

Coordinated by the City of Salem Youth Development Services, ILEAD is produced each year by a youth committee, college student event staff, and a planning committee made up of local youth development, prevention, and workforce readiness professionals. Marion County Health and Human Services and City of Salem are the 2021 sponsors.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-01-11 19:36:22Last Update: 2021-01-11 19:47:07



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