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A Conference for Young People to Create Solutions

Fri, 08/05/2022 - 15:27

Organizacion Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island is bringing together teens and young adults from all backgrounds to talk about mental and emotional health issues. The first OLA Youth Summit, a bilingual conference for people 14 to 22 years old, will take place on Monday, Aug. 15, at the Bridgehampton Community House.

Those who are interested must R.S.V.P. by Sunday, Aug. 14, by phoning 631-899-3441 or signing up on Eventbrite.

From 6 to 7 p.m. participants will address resources, accountability, and solutions to problems and uncertainties involving mental health. Then, they will be able to invent their own "action and accountability" statements to be presented to the East End institutions with which OLA collaborates, such as the Family Service League and local school districts and municipalities.

"We will stand by these action and accountability plans as we continue to bring youth leadership to the forefront," Minerva Perez, OLA's executive director, said by email last week.

From 7:30 to 8, participants will suggest new topics for the next youth summit. Catered food and beverages will be served from 8 to 9:30 p.m.

"The tremendous pressures of grades, work to support a family and not just for college, the continuation of Covid isolation effects, mixed with all the other usual middle and high school challenges make it hard for youth to address some of the big issues," Ms. Perez said. "Some of the young people with the most to offer are not in the student council. They might not even speak English yet. Many youth voices are discounted because they don't have the time or social connection to be heard. We want to change that."

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