Monday, July 8, 2013

HU hosts summer “Youth Empowerment Camp”

Camp Participants Monee Blair, Tiyana Carter and Volunteer Jade Banks
Hampton University’s Fine and Performing Arts Department hosted a three day Youth Empowerment Camp on its campus June 26-28. Forty students, ages 12-18, participated in the program, which educated students, primarily, on leadership skills. 

The program also provided students with workshops on teambuilding, as well as dance, visual arts, music and sports.

Tiyana Carter, who attends Bethel High School, said she enjoyed the exposure to various people in leadership positions.

“I liked how we had different people come in and show us the different types of leaders, youth leaders and older leaders who go all around the world,” she said.

For the ending program, students were part of a panel discussion that included Hampton Mayor Molly Ward, Virginia House of Delegates Member Mamye E. BaCote, HU Men’s Associate Head Basketball Coach Darryl Sharp, and Virginia State Senator Mamie Locke. Locke is also Dean of the HU School of Liberal Arts.

Carter, 15, said it was a chance for students to interact using skills they utilized during the program.

“That was our chance to show what we learned. (Panelists) asked us real situational problems about everyday life, like traffic and bullying, and we were able to explain what a leader can do to improve the problems,” she said.

HU Chair of Fine and Performing Arts, Dr. Karen Ward, served as one the program’s co-directors and said, though brief, the camp offered students a wealth of information that will help them throughout their lives.

“We, along with our sponsor, Dominion Foundation, hope that the participants will utilize all that they learned from the camp when they return to their schools and communities, so they can become stronger and more able leaders,” she said. “We packed a great deal in a very short period of time, with the hope that each day would be an opportunity for them to engage in enjoyable and valuable experiences to help them grow to become better leaders.”

By Leha Byrd

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