JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local high school teenagers are encouraged to attend a free teen summit Sunday hosted by Duval Co+ Lab, a group of teenagers who focus on discussion and creating action plans to spread awareness about mental health, and drug and alcohol abuse among teens.
It’s an umbrella organization made up of just teenagers through Drug Free Duval.
The summit, planned by teenagers and hosted by teenagers, offers all attendees volunteer credit hours for their participation in the discussion. It runs from 12-4 p.m. Sunday at the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Center for Community Outreach at 616 A. Philip Randolph Blvd. in downtown Jacksonville.
Teenagers will need to register to attend the free event. (Click here to register.)
“This is kids talking to kids,” explained Duval Co+ Lab coordinator Hannah Schaper, who stressed this will not be an event that “preaches” to kids about bad behavior.
Instead, Schaper says, “they are focusing on first self-medication, why do they do it? What are the root causes of self-medication, is it academic pressure? Is it social pressure? Do they see it online all the time? Do they hear it in music? They’re going to go into these break-out rooms and talk about root causes, then they’re going to come back out and report those.
“They are going to create actionable solutions,” she added. “They are going to then go and implement these solutions throughout their day or in the community.”
This is the second year Duval Co+Lab has held the teen summit. The group consists of high school students who attend nine local schools.
Lunch will be provided for free and the teens will receive “merch,” with a beach theme. Schaper said she will be there to make sure the students receive volunteer hours for their participation.