The youth will be the future leaders of our country and as such needs a good and strong foundation to be good leaders and citizens someday. However, there is too much violence in our surroundings right now that we may want to question whether our youth are seeing good role models to emulate in the future. Conflicts in and out of the country are reported on the news day in and day out – without fail. Divorce is common, leaving behind young kids without both parents to guide and mold them as they grow up.

Also, overexposure to unsupervised hours spent surfing the Internet can lead the youth to believe that certain acts are acceptable when in reality they are not. They can access sites that they are not supposed to visit exposing them to pornography. Hence, teenage pregnancy is no longer surprising. Drugs and alcohol abuse is also a constant threat and many youths are already hooked into it. Does the future still look bright when the majority of our youth are riddled with all these problems on a daily basis?

A Teen Summit exploring violence-related issues and other youth topics will be held April 1 at noon at the Booker T. Washington Center, 1720 Holland St.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Mothers Against Teen Violence, an Erie-based anti-violence group founded in 2010 by community activist Sonya Arrington, in partnership with the Youth Leadership Institute of Erie.

“This is a platform for our youth to be heard,” Arrington said. 

The forum will address issues of bullying, peer pressure, and violence, drugs and alcohol abuse.

The goals is to empower the youth and let them know that help is available whenever they ask for it.

“I want the youth in our community to know that they do have a voice and that we, as adults, are listening to their concerns,” Arrington said. “Our youth need to know there is help in the community to help get them through these traumatic events with all the violence. There is help.”


Many fail to realize that the youth are still kids and need proper guidance. They have different needs as they grow up and it is the responsibility of their parents and guardians to be sensitive to their needs and extend a helping hand when needed. Remember that things can even spiral out of control once the youth hits puberty and the delicate juggle act starts and persist throughout their lifetime.

From the beginning, some of us can be labelled “different,” separated from the flock and taken aside to receive special treatment. In some ways, it can make things all the more inconvenient.

Children are astute at perceiving the difference and can be especially harsh, forming elites and teasing their classmates; the kids who fall victim to this treatment may experience future problems as teenagers.

As we become older, a whole new world opens up; we understand so much more, for better or worse. Teens will make the transition from elementary to high school, and it can be very stressful trying to balance grades and a social life.

As each year goes by, there seems to be no going back. School can be fast-paced and if you do not understand something the first time it may be difficult to get a second explanation.

And there are also things we are not taught, such as how to manage money, pay taxes or plan for the future. These are the things left to our parents to teach us, or for us to figure out on our own.


The youth can also receive help and support from groups that help them reach their fullest potential. Give them a chance to be kids but also make it a point to guide them in everything they do. This site can help them discover and hone their abilities through engaging physical and outdoor activities in a warm and nurturing environment that every kid needs and deserves.

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