ROANOKE, Va. – City leaders are always wanting to hear what the youth thinks about their city.
The annual Roanoke Youth Summit gives middle and high school students the chance to express their thoughts in a safe environment.
The Roanoke Youth Services Citizens Board puts on the event.
Anita James Price is the chair of the group, and she says it’s all about making sure students can share their voice.
“They have a voice and we have to give them the opportunity to use that voice so they can tell us, the adults, what’s on their hearts and minds,” James Price said.
Students sign up for different workshops that have their own unique themes. Some of the themes surround the idea of self-esteem while others focus on self-care.
Jadyn Rhodes says this was her first Youth Summit event.
“You can get a lot of things out of this. All the different workshops and different things in the workshops,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes says her and her peers often think about their futures.
“Just the future, our future, our generation in the future. How things are going to be, how things are going to go? If we’re going to be successful? If things are going to change a lot? Some stuff may be different,” Rhodes said.
Kevin McNeil also attended for his first time. He says it’s important the world learns to adapt with future generations.
“As the world changes, we are thinking of more non-traditional ways of thinking and non-traditional ways of making money,” McNeil said.
City leaders joined in some of the workshops to hear from the students in terms of how they can address specific issues such as gun violence.