Everything from how to find a job or preparing for college to how to make a film to dating relationships will be offered to the youth who attend the 16th Annual Youth Conference & Empowerment Summit. Formerly known as the Youth Summit, this year’s countywide gathering of young people from 6th grade through high school, will discover that have a plethora of new offerings for their workshops, an integral part of the summit, which will be held at Pittsburg High School on Saturday, May 21st, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The first 250 youth who walk through the door will get a free summer bus pass. A tasty lunch will also be offered. The entire day is free. Plus a musical concert has been added to cap the daylong event.
“We are changing the flavor of the summit this year,” says Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover, who sponsors the conference. “We are updating some of the workshops and offering new ones to make them more relevant to today’s youth. There’s a stronger emphasis on the STEM fields and how the new technology affects our everyday lives.”
The charismatic Shaun Derrick will be returning for the third year to emcee the proceedings and to guide the youth through the day’s activities.
“He connects with young people through straight talk and music,” says Glover.
The youth summit will start the day with a team of Deer Valley High School graduates who will give the keynote presentation.
Lenard The KYD Jackson, who graduated Deer Valley High School two years ago, is being joined by Team KYD, which includes fellow DVHS alumni Lawrence Eyo White, Jr., Cherokee White and Ledell Jones. Performing at the annual youth conference is a way of giving back to their community. The interactive presentation called Talkback will consist of comedy skits, standup comedy and a personal testimony from KYD members and a Q&A with the students.
Since he left Antioch, KYD has worked in film, stage and in comedy clubs. As an actor and a musician, he has worked with Kevin Hart, Paul Mooney, Dick Gregory, Sinbad, Charlie Murphy and Condoleeza Rice.
Eyo White and Ledell Jones are still students at LMC and Cherokee White is a student at San Francisco State University.
Following the conference, students who stay for the entire conference will be treated to a free, live concert featuring up and coming artist Samaria, a 19‐year-old singer from Oakland who is on the verge of breaking out. Her music has a 1990’s R&B vibe to it but her sound is so distinct that it extends beyond just R&B or soul. Her sound cannot be placed into a box. Samaria said her musical style is heavily influenced by her heritage ‐ Jamaican and Puerto Rican.
One of the more intriguing workshops will talk about the results of a research project by Rising Youth for Social Equity, based in Richmond. It will explore the coping strategies for stress caused by living in an environment where friends and family are shot and killed is an everyday experience of growing up. The young people growing in such a stressful environment are showing signs of PTSD, a malady usually associated with veterans of warfare.
Here’s a sampling of the other 40 workshops being offered:
- Dance movement
- Developing trust
- Navigating the media maze
- Healthy relationships
- Empowering youth to change communities
- Find your voice, find your ‘hustle’
- Building a rocket
- How to cope with violence
- Access to new technologies
- How to build a robot
- The alcohol industry’s marketing towards youth
- Trademarks of an effective leader
With Team KYD, Samaria and emcee Shaun Derrick, almost 40 workshops, resource tables, fun activities and a free lunch Y.ASSEMBLE will be a full day for young people. Doors will open at 8 a.m. For the day’s schedule and a list of the workshops, go to YASSEMBLE.CO or YASSEMBLE.eventbrite.com. The free concert starts about 4:15 p.m. and is open only to YASSEMBLE participants.
“I hope the event opens the eyes of the young people,” said Glover. “Through the inspirational speakers, resources and opportunities that we’re offering and the impact of the day will help them make some critical choices in their lives. That’s what it’s all about.”
Y.ASSEMBLE Youth Conference & Empowerment Summit
Saturday, May 21, 2016
9 a.m. ‐ 4 p.m.
Pittsburg High School
1750 Harbor Street, Pittsburg