This summer the Texas Youth Summit brought more than 80 young leaders from across the state to The University of Texas at Austin campus for an engaging, educational and empowering leadership skill-building experience. The event provided Texas youth with a four-day in-person summit to cultivate a community of trailblazers committed to serve and equipped to lead. Dr. Luis Urrieta, professor of cultural studies in education, served as a co-director (along with Dr. Courtney Robinson) and was supported by College of Education doctoral students (and camp staff members) Judith Landeros and Celine Norman.
The 2023 theme for the summit was “Win or Learn” and was held June 25-29. During the event, the young leaders also had the opportunity to participate in a service learning project which included making resource bags for the unhoused community in the Austin area.
“The Youth Summit provides a space for self-empowerment for youth from underserved communities as well as the chance to experience being on a college campus, to see their potential as leaders, to spark their community commitments and to engage and dialogue with other youth from other parts of the state. It is powerful to see how the youth realize that they have power, that they can make change and the importance of serving those in need,” said Urrieta.
The Texas Youth Summit united students from Community Youth Development (CYD) programs all over Texas to learn about well-being and leadership through engaging speakers, lectures and workshops. They were encouraged to activate the positive change they hope to see in their own environments by presenting pressing issues facing their communities during town hall presentations. Community issues addressed during the summit included mental health awareness and resources, peer counseling, dating violence, feeding youth during the summer and immigration.
The summit also provided the young leaders an opportunity to showcase their personal and group community achievements.
Urrieta added, “The Youth Summit encourages the youth to showcase their efforts to address the most important issues impacting their communities. The CYD sites encourage youth to be changemakers and to use their power and energies to impact their communities in positive ways throughout the year. The town hall presentations at the Youth Summit provide the youth a platform to highlight their community assets and their year-long collective efforts toward positive community impact.”
The Texas Youth Summit is co-sponsored in collaboration between the College of Education, the Excellence & Advancement Foundation, Huston-Tillotson University and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Prevention and Early Intervention unit.
Learn more about the Texas Youth Summit.