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Kansas City Public library hosts 5th annual Youth Empowerment Summit

Posted at 9:03 AM, Jul 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-10 10:03:44-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Library is hosting its fifth annual 'Youth Empowerment Summit' for teenagers.

This year's theme is all about ways to de-stress.

The annual event is run by teen organizers, who put together various workshops for their peers.

Cooking, drawing and dancing are just some of the workshops teenagers will be able to get involved in this year. In years past, teens have learned about finding their passions, future careers and financial stability.

Each year, there is a seminar in which teenagers talk with each other about a variety of issues they see and deal with. Teen librarian Kelsey Bates said this discussion is one way the library tackles the 'summer slide.'

"They talk to each other about all kinds of world issues, what they're doing, how they're experiencing life themselves," Bates said. "We have rules, you know, you need to be courteous to other people, you need to listen to everybody's viewpoints. And so I think that being able to have that kind of environment where they're able to talk and really get to know each other and really use their minds to think about things really helps with the summer slide."

Each participant is also signed up for summer reading.

Teen organizer Sebastian Smith, who's been a part of the event for three years, said it gives his peers an opportunity to see what they want to do later in life.

"When they're at the youth empowerment summit, they're like, 'Oh this is actually neat , I don't want to be on the phone for this, I actually want to participate in this,'" Smith said. "As a teenager, that's probably the main reason I like it so much because there's so many things to do and try out and since I'm still young, I haven't done everything I'd like to do. And that just knocks more stuff off the table for me."

The event is scheduled for Saturday evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Plaza Branch Library. You do not need to register online. You can sign up the night-of for the free event.