On Sept. 28 youth and parents from Brown County will be presented with a unique opportunity. Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth and the Underage Substance Abuse Coalition of Brown County will be presenting ‘Live Out Loud,’ the first-ever Brown County Youth Summit in which youth in grades 7-12 from each of the schools in Brown County, along with other invited schools from throughout the area, will be encouraged to gather together and “Dream It…Believe It…and Achieve It.”
‘Live Out Loud’ is about friends, family, community, choices, influence, self expression, power and having a voice in your community. The event will be held at the New Ulm Senior High School from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with free busing being provided to students and parents from Comfrey, Springfield and Sleepy Eye. There is no cost to attend and breakfast, snacks and lunch, as well as event T-shirts and backpacks, will be provided for all participants.
Highlights of the ‘Live Out Loud’ Youth Summit will include breakout session opportunities for youth and parents. A featured event will include a distracted driving course for youth and presentations by Brown County Area SPOTS (Students Performing On Tough Situations) troupe members on a wide range of issues such as substance abuse, bullying and depression.
Also, Emily Kelley from Brown County Yellow Ribbon will be presenting “Yellow Ribbon-Becoming a Link to Prevent Suicide” while substance abuse counselors Ben Schoo and Leah Luke will offer a session on chemical dependency and teens.
Other breakout session opportunities include a presentation by Kim Janke entitled, “Picturing change: Using photovoice to raise your voice and change your world,” as well as a session on becoming a youth leader, which will be led by student members of New Ulm Character Counts and Brown County Area S.P.O.T.S.
Participants will also be able to take part in a special vendor fair which will include informational displays on a wide range of topics.
Finally, two special guests, Maria Willits and The Honorable Judge John Rodenberg will highlight the event.
Willits returns to New Ulm as the opening speaker to share her “Shatter the Silence” presentation in which she shares her personal story to help prevent suicide, access mental health resources and give hope to survivors. Maria will also share her son Ricky’s story with youth in a special youth only breakout session aimed at giving hope to teens in the aftermath of loss.
The other guest speaker is Minnesota Court of Appeals Justice and New Ulm native, The Honorable Judge John Rodenberg, who will not only lead a breakout session for youth and parents, but will serve as our closing speaker. Judge Rodenberg will be sharing his thoughts on drinking and driving issues, as well as underage substance abuse issues and the long term effects on those convicted in the courts with emphasis on how “having a court record can have a lifetime of consequences.”
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‘Live Out Loud’ promises to be a memorable learning experience for youth and adults alike. For more information and to register for this special event e-mail Mike Brigger at firstname.lastname@example.org for a registration packet. The registration deadline is Sept. 13.