Summit gives Tucson youth a lesson in leadership, networking

Tucson-area youth will have an opportunity to learn, network and have their voices heard as part of the Pima County Public Library’s Rising Voice Summit.

The event will be held Saturday, April 13.

The summit began in 2013 when the library began designing a youth media space, said library associate Amelia Marsh. With the space came the Rising Voice Summit, a chance for youth from ages 12 to 20 to discuss and strategize solutions for issues concerning the community. Previous summits covered politics, mental-health care and reproductive health, among other topics.

Attendees will listen to presentations from the Metropolitan Education Commission Youth Advisory Council and various library teen advisory boards. The presenters will share their experience with projects regarding education, the environment, gun control and more.

Marsh said getting youth involved is particularly important.

“In the climate we see today, the chance to build a community and network is important to youth. It’s a chance to springboard other action,” Marsh said. “It empowers individuals in a community space.”

Those who attend the event will take an assessment identifying their strengths and how to use them as a leader.

“It’s important to connect people with their strengths and passions to teach them how to use them to get involved,” Marsh said. “It gives youth the opportunity to develop a sense of empowerment and agency. It’s important for who they’ll grow into.”

Attendees will receive a certificate, a chance to network with community leaders and organizations, and can provide input to the library on resources that would best help youth in the community.

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