Horseheads Youth For Youth Conference aims to promote healthy lifestyle for teens
Teenagers face peer pressure every day. In some cases, it can be very difficult to fight. But as YNN’s Crystal Cranmore reports, one local high school group is empowering students to make positive choices.
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HORSEHEADS, N.Y. - - With alcohol, drugs and pregnancies being huge problems for American teens, it’s no surprise that hundreds of students spend a weekend at Horseheads High School each year.
The annual Youth for Youth Conference gets teens to spend their time with games, laughter, and fellowship.
Organizers want to promote healthy lifestyles for teenagers, teaching them to become more independent and responsible.
“I started off being shy. Now as a senior, I’ve grown a lot,” said Enrique Castaneda, the vice president of Youth Council.
Enrique has been a part of the program since he was a freshman. Today, he is the Vice President of the Youth Council.
The Council, which is a division of the Town of Horseheads Youth Bureau, holds dozens of events each year. The Youth for Youth Conference is the biggest, as it invites students from nearby districts.
“The function of this is to bring kids together from around our community in order to make them aware of the fact that there are other kids that are dealing with the same issues you are in school; and, there are kids who are making positive choices that you can use as resources,” said Bruce May, Youth Bureau Director.
Each year the Youth Council invites a motivational speaker, someone they can connect with and look up to.
When speakers come in, they would tell us part of their life, that a lot of them didn’t grow up with anything and they had two choices -- follow your dream or go off track,” said Castaneda.
“We all tend to agree that the motivational speaker is one of the best parts. They relate to everyone,” said Youth Council Secretary Martha Price.
Like many students, Enrique faced his own challenges in high school, but through this program, found encouragement.
“When we come together we are just a family and we get past our individualities,” said Price.
The conference is just one way for students to keep positive, be open-minded, and empower each other.