Brighton Park Neighborhood Council organizes an annual violence prevention Youth Summit for middle school youth. Youth leaders from schools in Brighton Park help organize it with the support of a BPNC organizer. Each year more than experts present ten different topics at the Youth Summit by professionals that work with that specific topic or issue. The Youth Summit takes place at a college campus, to have youth start thinking about what they would like to do after they graduate High School. This year eight schools from Brighton Park participated in our 8th Annual Youth Summit, Unapologetically Us: Our Generation Can Change the World.
The Youth Summit is very important because it is a youth conference organized by youth. The schools that participate in the Youth Summit have Youth Leadership Councils (YLC). Students choose the workshop topics. They also discuss the importance for other youth to learn about these issues. This conference is a great place for youth to learn information in a youth-friendly environment. It is important to have this type of spaces for young. Youths learn about interesting topics not usually taught in schools.
I love planning the Youth Summit! It creates a safe space where youth can talk about issues that are affecting them and their peers in their school and community. Some of the topics this year were: Depression, Eating Disorders, Bullying, Self-Love, Education Justice, Immigrants’ Rights, and Domestic Violence.
Our goal is to continue to organize this event in the upcoming years, and if possible, expand to other schools outside of Brighton Park.