24th Annual Youth for Youth Conference Starts TODAY at the Hyatt

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Hagåtña, Guam – Today, May 16,  is the first of the 3-day annual Youth for Youth Conference. 

Since its early establishment in 1988 as Dededo Drug-Free Organization, Youth for Youth LIVE Guam continues to reach out to the young people of Guam and the Pacific with a focus on youth empowerment in the movement against substance abuse and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. The youth-oriented and youth-led community group challenges the participants of this year’s conference to explore and realize their limitless potentials in addressing the daily issues they face.

This year’s theme, Limitless: the 24th Annual Youth for Youth Conference, encourages today’s youth to take healthy risks in realizing their potentials. “We youth are limitless,” shares AOLG junior and this year’s conference co-chair Jane Kang.

“We ask those who will be joining us at the conference to keep an open mind and be willing to learn from each other. It is our hope that they not just enjoy the experience, but also leave empowered to go out and do what they can to make their home, school, community, island … this world a better place.” GW junior and conference co-chair Joey Cruz adds: “We are thankful for this year’s batch of Youth for Youth LIVE! Guam members. The training process and preparation had been strenuous, and we all have exerted so much effort into making this conference a success.

We are all excited to meet the 300 youth participants this weekend!” A total of 52 students from both public and private high schools were trained the past year to be facilitators for this youth-led conference.

KEYNOTE PRESENTERS

Each day of the conference is focused on a specific prevention topic. On Friday, May 16th, Officer Paul Tapao, coordinator for the GPD Crime Stoppers, will speak on Underage Drinking Prevention. On Saturday, May 17th, Pilar Perez Williams, currently the Principal at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, will share a presentation on Suicide Prevention. Lastly on Sunday, May 18th, Christopher Surla from the Department of Public Health and Social Services will talk about Substance Abuse Prevention.

WHAT TO EXPECT
Close to 300 middle and high school students from Guam and the neighboring islands are expected to attend the 3-day youth conference. Trained youth facilitators will provide small-group workshops in various prevention topics such as Tobacco 101, Bullying and Suicide Prevention, Cultural Diversity, and Online Safety. Community partners were also invited to provide adult-led workshops: Relationship Intelligence from Sanctuary Inc. of Guam, Team Building from the Guam National Guard Counterdrug Program, Expressive Art from Creative Indeed, and Farm-to-Table from Farm to Table, Inc.

The participants can also expect to be assigned to family groups, who will serve as their close-knit sharing group that will focus on applying the social issues presented throughout the conference into real-life situations through activities such as storytelling circles and web of friendship.

REGISTRATION CLOSED
Due to the overwhelming response received from the schools in the region, YFYLG regrets to inform the community that registration is officially closed. All students whose registration was confirmed must be present with their assigned chaperones at the Hyatt Regency Guam Main Ballroom Foyer at 7:30AM on Friday, May 16, 2014.

Conference agenda and workshop descriptions are available on the group’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Y4Yliveguam.