Events, Uncategorized

Youth At Risk Conference Highlights

The Youth at Risk (YAR) conference took place on Friday, June 8th at Salem State University. The conference is the region’s only annual all-day conference for professionals who work with at-risk youth. The event features 38 breakout sessions, as well as keynote speakers, program exhibitions and networking opportunities.

Pam Lundquist, ECAB Network Executive Committee Member and GeorgetownCARES Chair, provided her comments on the event.  Thank you, Pam!

Attending the Youth at Risk Conference was a like breath of fresh air! Every year, almost 1,000 local professionals serving at-risk (all) youth gather to both teach and learn from each other’s amazing experiences. Social workers, educators, therapists and law enforcement all contribute to an inspiring full-day series of workshops plus keynote speakers and musical performances by talented youth.

This year the keynote speaker was Debby Irving, author of the seminal book, Waking Up White: Finding Myself in the Story of Race. A mesmerizing presenter, she reminded us of numerous historical events that have contributed to the lack of racial understanding and justice that we now experience. Speaking about her own upbringing, Ms. Irving asks that we all remain open-minded to continual learning about how we have been socialized to perceive “the other” from a young age. Sifting through and seeing clearly the origin of identities we take on ourselves and assign to others is key to creating a culture built to appreciate differences rather than crush them. It was a very thought-provoking and enlightening day!

-Pam Lundquist