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Expo celebrates young leaders, entrepreneurs

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Some stereotypes that might come to mind when thinking about 21st century youth would be kids who do nothing but play video games all day or people who get into trouble.

However, at the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration the youth will get the chance to tell the world what they are passionate about and learn how to make a difference in their community as well as the world at large.

Two events in particular that give youth this opportunity are the Youth Leadership Summit and the Youth Entrepreneur Seminar.

The Youth Leadership Summit, presented by Purdue University and Indiana Black Expo, is targeted towards ages 11 through 18 and takes place July 15-17 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown.

“We are trying to attract students who are interested in gaining and improving their leadership qualities. We want a lot of youth to sign up,” said Vernon Williams, the media coordinator for the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration.

To apply for the Youth Leadership Summit, the participant must provide a letter of recommendation, write a 200-word essay, and pay the registration amount. For the full 3-day conference attendees pay $200 to cover meals, snacks, conference materials and entertainment. Youth who attend must be chaperoned. This year for the first time, there will be Super Friday, a mini-conference that offers youth the opportunity to be a part of this event for only $10. Super Friday is a one-day conference that takes the best of what the summit has to offer and condenses it into a day.

Organizers of this event say that they want to prepare youth for academic, personal and community service orientated goals and achievements. Attendees will learn about topics such as philanthropy, volunteerism, preparing for college and combating violence.

Though the event is educational, it is sure to be enjoyable as well. Participants will have the opportunity to be a part of an open mic night, a slam-dunk contest and a game night. As a result of the summit, kids and teens will learn about how they can make a positive impact on their community.

Another event that is sure to interest young people who want to be business leaders or entrepreneurs is the Youth Entrepreneur Seminar. This event will take place on July 12-13 and registration is free. Participants have the opportunity to win money to jumpstart business ideas.

“As part of the event they put together a business plan. This teaches them about financing and marketing. The winning business plan gets $500 to help them actually go out and make it happen,” said Williams.

Because of these events, young people who attend the Summer Celebration will have fun and but also gain knowledge and skills that will help them for the remainder of their lives.


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