Youth Symposium focuses on healthy decision-making

March 22, 2013 in Lifestyle, News, Top Stories

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority hosts 16th annual Youth Symposium

BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer

Alyssia McIntosh, left, and Tyshalla Lawrence of ProMedica’s Teen PEP, Peers Educating Peers during a skit at the youth symposium.

An interactive and aggressive approach to developing the minds of Toledo’s youth took place Saturday, March 9, at the Simmons Neighborhood Facilities Building, 1001 Indiana.
The Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. hosted it 16th annual youth symposium “It’s all about me: Healthy Choices, Healthy Living, Healthy Generations.”
The sorority’s national initiative is to arm young people with the proper tools to navigate through life’s challenges.
“Today is all about healthy initiatives and healthy living,” said Kimberly Grable, chapter president. “With that mission and successful partnerships with organization like the Frederick Douglas Community Association, we’re able to meet our objectives. We’re all about our community and helping to develop leadership amongst the youth.”
There were five workshops to help fulfill the organization’s mission: internet safety, conducted by the Toledo Police Department; healthy living, conducted by Wanda Butts of the “Josh Project; a dance segment geared toward healthy lifestyles, facilitated by “Glass City Hustlers; a robotic presentation conducted by the students of Toledo Technology Academy; and a series of skits that were performed by ProMedica’s “Teen PEP, Peers Educating Peers, which were centered around bullying, teen violence and relationships.
Bawasha Wain-Wright was one of the presenters who discussed how teens should deal with violent relationships.
“I couldn’t help but become emotional because the mother of someone I know who was just recently killed was in the audience,” said Wainwright, as her voice trembled. “And although she did get out of the relationship, her abuser still killed her.”
Wanda Parker heard about the symposium and brought her two grandchildren in hopes they could benefit from the event.
“This has really been interesting and educational,” Parker said. There aren’t a lot of beneficial events taking place during the weekend that I feel comfortable enough to bring my grandchildren to.”
Following the workshops, the sorority presented its annual $500 scholarship to Brijette Smith, a senior at Bowsher High School.
The event closed out with Shawn Mahone, founder and director of “Young Men and Women for Change,” leading the young people in a pledge to commit to being more conscious about their lifestyles and decision making process.