Giving Teens a Voice

NYS - Summit Excerpts

Excerpts from the TTT results at the National Youth Summit on Preventing Violence – Washington, DC – Feb 16-19, 2002

 

By Hamilton Sneed, National Youth Chair, National Youth Summit on Preventing Violence

 

            The 2002 National Youth Summit on Preventing Violence was held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott from February 16 – 19, 2002 in Washington, DC. Hosted by the National Crime Prevention Council, youth and adults from 43 states and 5 countries attended to gain knowledge on various issues affecting youth crime today. The Summit’s main goal was to change the perceptions of adults who believe that most young people are perpetrators of crime and this was accomplished in numerous ways throughout the Summit.

 

Thirty-four youth, ages 11-21, from 12 states were selected to be McGruff Ambassadors to help develop policy recommendations in nine crucial areas of concern.

 

Teen Think Tanks of America, Inc. provided a process of facilitated electronic brainstorming, a consensus model and collaborative group-decision technology for the 34 Ambassadors were able to capture their thoughts and ideas quickly into an electronic database. Using this TTT approach for one hour each day during the four-day summit, the ambassadors developed policy recommendations addressing issues concerning terrorism, crime prevention basics, school safety, substance abuse, entertainment and prevention, community activism, media, technology crime, and policy as they relate to violence among youth in America.

 

                The report of policy recommendations was presented to a top official of the Homeland Security Office of the White House; and copies were delivered to the President, Vice President, Attorney General, both houses of Congress, and to the Governor of each state.

 

     The Summit brought us together; the march gave us a stand; the rally gave us a voice; we are the most valuable untapped resource in America.  Now, it is our challenge to our elected officials to lead by example and act upon our recommendations.

 

Hamilton Sneed

2002 Summit Youth Chair

National Youth Summit on Preventing Violence