Youth Summit coming up

NEW ULM – Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth and the Underage Substance Abuse Coalition present “Live Out Loud,” a youth summit for youth in grades 7-12 and adults featuring a variety of workshops and presentations.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the New Ulm High School.

The summit is free to all participants (both youth and adult), and free busing will be provided to those who live in Sleepy Eye, Springfield and Comfrey.

The registration deadline is Sept. 13 (but everyone wishing to attend will be accommodated).

The Youth Summit is intended not to just educate youth about issues relevant to their lives, but also to provide them with an opportunity to lead, explained Mike Brigger, Director of Healthy Communities Healthy Youth.

Kim Janke, Underage Substance Abuse Coalition Program Director, added that the summit is focused not just on universal issues but also on issues related specifically to youth in Brown County. The topics are youth-generated – the result of brain storming by groups such as the Youth Council, S.P.O.T.S. (Students Performing on Tough Situations) and Character Counts students. Youth are also developing their own workshop presentations.

Adults can learn a lot from the conference and may attend even if they are not accompanying youth, Brigger and Janke also noted.

The summit will hit on a series of stronger issues which adults are sometimes reluctant to address with teens: depression, suicide, substance abuse, etc., noted Brigger.

Beside student-led workshops, some notable speakers include Maria Willits, who will share her son’s story (he committed a suicide) and Judge John Rodenberg, Minnesota Court of Appeals, who will address the lifelong consequences of having a criminal record and other issues.

The goal is to turn the event into an annual occurrence, rotating its location among town in Brown County, said Brigger and Janke.

The summit is sponsored by USAC, HCHY, the Optimist Club and Allina-New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC).

If you have questions, please call Kim Janke, Underage Substance Abuse Coalition Program Director, at 507-354-6512, or Mike Brigger, Healthy Communities Healthy Youth, at 507-354-8632.

Workshops include the following:

“LeadershipCan You Feel It?” presented by S.P.O.T.S., Character Counts Students

This youth-lead activity will help you break out of your comfort zone and inspire you to become the leader you were meant to be!

“Becoming a Link to Prevent Suicide? Yellow Ribbon” by Emily Kelley, Yellow Ribbon Brown County

The workshop will look at the warning signs and risk factors that can help identify when you need to intervene to become a LINK! Participants will learn how to encourage others how to Ask For Help and how you can Be-A-Link for those in need of help. Participants will also discuss how to increase the number of protective factors in our community to continue to prevent suicide. Continued education credits available for educators.

“Putting on a Show To Help Say No” by S.P.O.T.S.

Adults will learn how positive peer-to-peer education through short 3-5 minute skits on youth issues helps youth in developing a variety of options for saying no to alcohol, drugs or other destructive behaviors.

“Ricky’s Story” by Maria Willits

Maria will share her son Ricky’s personal story, raising awareness about suicide and mental health issues among teens.

“Picturing Change: Using Photovoice to Raise Your Voice and Change Your World” by Kim Janke, Underage Substance Abuse Coalition Director

Photovoice is a participatory media project engaging communities in telling stories through photography and narrative. This workshop will provide youth with the tools and knowledge to use

“Drive or Die Your Choice: Distracted Driving Awareness” presented by South Central EMS

This highly interactive demonstration will highlight the hazards (and dispel the myths) of both distracted and drunk driving. Only 10-12 students per session, must be 15 to drive golf cart, any age for the drunk goggles.

“Drug Identification & Paraphernalia” by New Ulm Police Department (NUPD) Commander Dave Borchert and James Johnson Jr. (NUMC)

NUPD will provide an awareness presentation involving illegal substances that are affecting the Brown County Area. Additionally, the presentation will focus on various types of illegal substances (most commonly abused) and the substance’s negative effects.

“Chemical Usage and the Courts” by Judge John Rodenberg, Minnesota Court of Appeals

Judge Rodenberg will discuss drinking and driving issues, underage consumption issues and perhaps the impact of chemical use generally on the court system, the impact of court involvement in the lives of those with chemical use issues, the impact of “a record” on an individual who is convicted in our courts in the Internet age.

“Chemical Dependency and Teens” by Ben Shoo, James Johnson Jr. (NUMC) and Leah Luke (Brown County Family Services)

The workshop will educate attendees about various drugs (illicit, prescribed and over-the-counter), how each is classified and dangers of using these substances; help attendees understand the dangers of underage drinking including legal implications of minor in possession or driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs; and understand the dangers of use of alcohol/drugs including driving privilege consequences and school and legal implications.

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