Youth Symposium 2010

October 25, 2010

To visit the full Youth Symposium 2010 website, click here.

Award-winning actor and bestselling author Hill Harper was the keynote speaker as Wheelock College convened its second Youth Symposium. Entitled "Bridges to Our Future: The Next Generation of Leaders," the event brought together 500 middle and high school students from Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge - public, private, pilot and charter - to listen, learn, and discuss topics including leadership, mentoring and self respect.

All of the students committed to a companion three-week curriculum created specifically for the symposium, to be completed before the event. The goal was to engage young people in becoming leaders, combating negative messages, as well as matriculating into and completing college.

A focal point for the symposium was Harper's two bestselling books, Letters to a Young Brother, and Letters to a Young Sister. The event was hosted by Harvard Law School Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., a mentor of Hill Harper's when he attended Harvard Law School. Harper portrays Dr. Sheldon Hawkes on the CBS television series CSI: NY.

"The mission of Wheelock College is to improve the lives of children and families," said Wheelock president Jackie Jenkins-Scott. "Several years ago, as a part of our mission, we established an office of Pre-Collegiate and College Access Programs to assist urban youth with achieving college access and success. Our work is part of a national movement toward widening college access, and more importantly, ensuring that students who enter college also graduate - prepared for both further study and fulfilling careers."

Wheelock College presented its first Youth Symposium in 2007. The symposium featured Bishop Desmond Tutu, and focused on Forgiveness and Reconciliation. After the event, a number of participants started a group called SPARK the Truth, dedicated to nonviolent, peaceful coexistence for young people in Boston. With the help of that group and the Pre-Collegiate Office, nearly 5000 young people have attended subsequent events on the Wheelock campus focused on leadership development, mentoring, social justice, academic support, coursework and college success planning.

For more information about the Youth Symposium and the Special Convocation, click here.

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