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PCC Co-sponsors Youth Communication Conference

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PORTLAND — Giving youth a stake in their community and respecting them enough to listen to their opinions is the foundation for a day-long conference at Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus on Friday, May 29.

WHO: Youth advocates, educators, youth-minded community members and the youths themselves will gather to take part in a multi-faceted workshop aimed at helping adults and youths communicate better for the good of an entire community. The keynote speaker of the event is Della M. Hughes, executive director of the National Network for Youth in Washington, D.C.

WHAT: Young People: Transforming Lives, Transforming Communities is a conference bringing community members together with young people, parents, educators and youth services professionals to discuss how people in the community can help empower young people to succeed and feel like they are a part of the "big picture."

The conference features workshops on conversation methods for adults and youths, a youth development seminar, how to involve youth in policy-making decisions at the county level and a host of other activities. The conference is sponsored by the Youth Services Consortium, the Oregon Commission on Children and Families and PCC.

WHEN: Friday, May 29, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE: Portland Community College Cascade Campus, 705 N. Killingsworth, Terrell Hall, lecture room 122.

WHY: Michael Morrow, PCC Child Care Services coordinator and co-organizer of the conference, said anyone who has listened to the students following the May 21 shooting at Thurston High School in Springfield knows why such a conference is needed.

"The overwhelming response from students reacting to the Springfield tragedy is that ‘adults don’t listen to us,’" said Morrow. "The focus of this conference is communicating with youth."

Morrow added that this conference will give media outlets the opportunity to see young people in the Portland area who seek to help curb youth violence and make a difference in their communities.

"There is a huge number of youths out there who are doing great things," he said. "This conference will show people who they are and what they are doing to become a part of the solution."