April 25, 2022 by HCDE-Texas
Self-empowerment was the focus of last week’s Teen Summit at Highpoint School East.
“One of the things that we wanted to do this year is bring in people who have stories similar to those of our students,” said Principal Courtney Waters. “We have presenters who have either been in alternative education programs, been in jail, or have rap sheets, and are now successful adults. Being able to share those stories with our kids, in my opinion, gives them a different perspective on their future.”
The summit featured 15 different presenters who held discussions with students about financial literacy, physical and mental wellbeing, entrepreneurship, and decision-making. Students heard from former Highpoint student Marc Young who is now an air conditioning technology professor at San Jacinto College. Students also learned about the music industry from Lafayette Taylor with 1 Soundvibe Studios, a local recording studio.
“I see that there are people out there who want to see me do better who have also been through similar things when they were children,” said ninth-grade Channelview High School student Tristan Smith.
One presenter who resonated with students was Meredith James, a former troubled youth with an extensive criminal history. After turning her life around, James now owns her own business and works as a chemical dependency counselor, anger resolution therapist, and motivational speaker.
“The biggest reason we do the Teen Summit is always exposure,” said Waters. “We want to provide opportunities and make our kids aware of other possibilities.”