Bullying, High School Graduation Crisis, Teen Unemployment Among Top Issues as 1,500 Teens Gather at Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Keystone Conference
WHAT: 45th Annual National Keystone Conference, Sponsored by Taco Bell Foundation for Teens and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA)
WHO: 1,500 Boys & Girls Club teen members from the U.S. and military installations worldwide
WHEN: March 22 – 24, 2012
WHERE: Omni International & Ft. Worth Convention Center, TX
- Friday: Creating Hope - Levi Horn, offensive lineman, Chicago Bears, shares how self esteem and hard work can never displace dreams.
- Friday: Creating Career and Employment Opportunities – Teens learn to prepare for college and careers.
- Saturday: Bullying - Certified crisis counselor and teen motivational speaker Gabe Salazar tackles one of the hottest topics among teens today. Through role playing, Salazar will show teens how to stand up to negative peer pressure. His message – don’t let others define you.
More than 1,500 teens from Boys & Girls Clubs around the world convene in Ft. Worth for an exciting mix of informative sessions, educational experiences and discussion forums.
The event, themed “Think Big,” is planned and led by members, who participate in Keystone, a program focusing on leadership and character development -- specifically for teen members. Participants will discuss the most important issues facing our nation’s young people, including gang violence, the epidemic high school dropout rate, the crisis among African-American males, obesity, cyber-bullying, record levels of poverty, and unemployment among teens.
Thursday, March 22
- 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. – BGCA President and CEO Jim Clark opens the 45th Annual National Keystone Conference with his challenge for Keystoners to take charge of their lives and stay true to their dreams. Country singer and songwriter Jimmy Wayne performs and shares how music gave him hope while he was in foster care.
Friday, March 23
- 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – In celebration of BGCA’s 20th anniversary of serving young people living on Native American Lands, Levi Horn, an offensive lineman with the iconic Chicago Bears will share how self esteem and hard work can never displace dreams.
- 10 a.m. – “After High School Graduation: What’s Next?” & “College Knowledge: Are You Ready?”
- 9:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – College-bound visits and job shadowing (Ft. Worth & Dallas) - Boys & Girls Club teen members will visit local college campuses, many for the first time, to learn what it takes to make the grade. Others will spend the day shadowing successful career professionals to understand what it takes to get a job in today’s tough economy. Paul Quinn College will be offering on-site admissions for qualified candidates.
Saturday, March 24
- 8:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Be Engaged! – More than 500 Boys & Girls Club teen members converge on two communities, including Grand Prairie, installing urban gardens that will produce nutritious and wholesome fruits and vegetables not readily available in these “food deserts.”
- 9 – 10 a.m. – SMART Choices for Young Women - Ft. Worth’s own Angela Ware, instrumental in building one of the nation’s most effective and celebrated gang-prevention programs, Comin’ Up, will show teen girls how to envision what they want to get out of their future and how to map out a plan to make it happen.
- 9 – 10 a.m. – SMART Choices for Young Men - This Super Session led by author and motivational speaker Robert Jackson will help young men identify the three basic types of abuse – verbal, emotional and physical – equipping them with the tools necessary to stop bullying once and for all.
- 1:45 – 2:45 p.m. – Think Globally, Act Locally - Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Four Youth of the Year (YOY) finalists and National YOY Nick Foley form a panel to discuss how young people can make a difference in their communities and the world at-large.
(onsite) Jan Still-Lindeman, 404-487-5739, 678-656-6252 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
Mitch Leff, 404-861-4769, email@example.com