By Jessica Mathews/

The first Virtual Youth Led Summit (V-YLS) in Livingston County is scheduled this Friday morning – offering a prevention message while educating youth about increasing awareness and reshaping social norms.

For the past academic year, students from all public school districts in Livingston County have been working on a Youth Led Summit. It was designed to be an opportunity for youth to come together and showcase their talents and abilities to create, develop, implement, and lead. Originally, organizers were asking for youth to ‘forgo’ a day of school and attend the summit ‘in person and live’. Faced with the challenge to cancel or postpone the event, Livingston County Youth Led Prevention Coordinators Sarah McGeorge and Sandra Parker decided to go virtual and host the event via Zoom this Friday from 8:45am-1pm. the Livingston County Community Alliance is sponsoring the event, which is funded through a federal grant, but various agencies collaborated on it.

The Summit will feature nationally renowned Keynote Speaker Ty Sells, breakout sessions centered on Mindfulness Training with Yoga, Anti-Vaping Education, Communication skills and Personality Traits as well as music and dancing. Attendees receive a free t-shirt and a gift certificate for Subway lunch. Speakers will talk about the power of acceptance as well as how to have a conversation about prevention with peers but in an educational, non-pushy way.

Parker says it’s an excellent opportunity for youth to get away from their school and home environment. Parker said youth can take a break and learn something from other peers in the community and across the state – noting people have rising anxiety and depression so learning about mindfulness and yoga can help to work through things and different situations while learning life skills. McGeorge told WHMI students worked hard on coming up with the logo, tag line and who they wanted to speak at the event – which is Create. Lead. Succeed – The Sky’s The Limit. She said it’s a leading experience for students that will also look great on college applications and resumes.

Students from Livingston County or surrounding areas are encouraged to participate but will need to register online as spots are limited. A link is provided.