By Jordan Brown
Jack and Jill of America’s Inland Empire Chapter hosted this year’s annual teen conference of future leaders. Jack and Jill is an organization for African American families that promotes the cohesiveness between mothers and their children. This year’s 58th Annual Teen Conference was held at Pitzer College in North Claremont, CA. Over 350 teens attended from the following states: California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Alaska. The teen conference targeted incoming freshmen to graduating high school seniors. Teen Conference 2012 was a success. The teens had a great time and learned things they can take on with them later in life. Teens participated in daily plenary sessions, events and many workshops, such as an Aim For Fitness obstacle course where teens were put on teams and competed in several physical activities on the campus. The teens also volunteered with various community service projects.
The Aim For Fitness Day was a way for the teens to meet new jack and jillers that aren’t in their chapters. Each team of nine or ten teens competed in races like: Giant tricycles and a Bounce house obstacle course. In the activities they had to use team-building skills to attempt winning each challenge. The winners received recognition and bragging rights at the end of the event. Teens also competed in skit, short film, and oratorical contests. Those competitions were associated with the theme of the conference, “Black History: Yesterday, Today and Forever. With many motivating speakers on hand, Azure Antoinette, who is a youth literacy advocate spoke about social media and its influence on today’s youth. All 350 teens gave back to the community by participating in Habitat for Humanity, Sunrise Assisted Living, Ability First in Claremont, and the Boys & Girls Club of Pomona and multiple other community service projects.
“Giving back is very important, I’m glad I’m able to volunteer at events like teen conference,” said Cierra Gilmore an incoming sophomore at Cajon High School in San Bernardino. Graduating seniors were awarded for all of their hard work and celebrated publicly among their peers at the senior banquet where 100% of students graduated have been accepted into college. If you have any questions on how to join the Jack and Jill family experience you can contact Ange Saunders at AngeSaunders@inlandempirejackandjill.com or go to the Inland Empire Chapter website: www.inlandempirejackandjill.org.
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