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Crime

Teen Summit RVA will bring together area students to share common concerns and solutions

The daylong event will be held on March 18th at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Trevor Dickerson

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Six hundred high school students from the Richmond area will gather at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on Saturday, March 18, 2023, for Teen Summit RVA – the first in a series of annual meetings designed to engage and connect regional teens.

Teen Summit RVA 2023 will link high school students as they speak out against violence and seek solutions to daily challenges they face. Henrico County, the City of Richmond and Chesterfield County began collaborating on Teen Summit RVA in fall 2022.

The event will include panel discussions and interactions related to issues and concerns that students face daily – gun violence, drug use, mental health and equity in their school division and community. This diverse group of 14-to-18-year-olds also will be able to attend the InspireYouth@Work Regional Summer Opportunity Fair, which is presented by Virginia Career Works. Students will explore exhibits and learn about job, internship and volunteer opportunities as well as career and educational resources available to them.

Students have been selected by their schools to participate in Teen Summit RVA. While attendance is by invitation only, limited slots remain open. Any student from the participating school systems who would like to attend should contact their school’s guidance counselor.

“When students come together, their passion, creativity and hope for the future are greater than any challenge,” said Dr. Amy Cashwell, Superintendent of Henrico County Public Schools. “Teen Summit RVA is a tremendous step in bringing together students from across the region to make connections and spark solutions that cut across county and city borders. This is the start of something important for central Virginia.”

“Teen Summit RVA is a great opportunity for students to build their leadership skills and advocate for issues that impact their peers and our community. By listening to and building up our youth, we know we will see them lead us forward,” said Jason Kamras, Superintendent of Richmond Public Schools.

Students also will be able to express themselves by contributing to an art installation and recording their spontaneous responses to thought-provoking statements in an audio booth.

Other Teen Summit RVA experiences will cover Mental Health Matters, Changing the World and Keeping Schools Safe: An Open Discussion About School Safety.

Teen Summit RVA will be hosted by nationally known, Richmond-based comedian Micah “Bam Bamm” White and is sponsored by the Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond.

“This innovative summit for central Virginia teens offers opportunities for them to connect with each other, hear from experts and speak up about issues important to them,” said Dr. Mervin B. Daugherty, Superintendent of Chesterfield County Public Schools.

“We are so very excited for the youth of the region that this event is being held,” said Dr. Joe Casey, Chesterfield County Administrator. “So often with young people, groups and organizations talk around them and not to them. This entire event is centered on the idea of listening to students and hearing what matters most to them. It’s imperative that we understand the needs of all residents, including young people. We can’t wait to see what comes out of this event and those like it in the future.”

Media outlets are welcome to provide news coverage of Teen Summit RVA. For more information, contact Ron Carrington at (804) 690-3972 or [email protected]. Student participants will be available for interviews upon request.

More information can be found at teensummitrva.com.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.