In March 2011, teens in Ventura, CA gathered for a Leadership Summit to explore social issues and discuss their ideas for possible solutions for reducing underage and binge drinking and impaired driving in their community. Activities included improv games and social change theatre exploration, videomaking, writing, and discussion. Here are some thoughts, comments and essays from some of this year’s Summit attendees.
To be perfectly honest, I never expected my day at the Straight Up Leadership Summit to make such a positive change in me. When I came in with the two other kids at my school who I barely knew to begin with, I definitely felt insecure. I was afraid that I would not find any friends or make a fool out of myself. But I quickly learned that messing up is totally okay! The adults here made the Leadership Summit feel like a big family. We learned team-building skills through hilarious, challenging activities. We played games that were deceitfully simple and unbelievably funny. Here, I was taught that my voice is not only heard, but also encouraged. We all made each other feel important. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s absolutely true. If you have the opportunity to participate in the Leadership Summit, don’t hesitate to do it! You never know what could happen.
— M.A.M., Ventura high school student