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July 10, 2014, 4:11 pm

Youth event provides learning, support, fun

The 19th Annual Youth Summit drew several cross-sections of Northwest Philadelphia recently.

Young people came out in full force for workshops, entertainment and competitions at the Mount Airy Church of God in Christ in West Oak Lane on Saturday June 9. The event was sponsored by Ray of Hope Ministries, MACOGIC, the office of Ninth District Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco of Mount Airy and Youth Action, a Tavis Smiley foundation.

After the opening remarks from the sponsors and special guests at 10 a.m. workshops began. The workshops targeted youths ages 10 to 17. After these sessions there was a drill team drum line and basketball competitions. A resource fair was held throughout the afternoon.

“Several hundred youths (discussed) the topic of bullying,” said Crystal Jacobs, communications and special events director for Tasco’s office. “The purpose of this event is to get the city’s youth engaged in finding peaceful and responsible ways to resolve conflicts, all while participating in fun activities and stimulating workshops.”

Over the years, Sprite Livingston of East Oak Lane has been so impressed by the annual youth summits that she brings along several youngsters each year.

“I believe in any program that brings education and culture to our youth,” said Livingston who brought six young people to the Youth Summit 2008. “I think it’s important for our young people to expand their minds beyond what they see on TV to get information that teaches them. I’d rather they get up early on a Saturday to engage in something positive and educational rather than just stay home or hang in the streets.”