The Teen Summit hosted by Give Every Child a Chance was back.
After a one-year hiatus, students of the Manteca Unified School District – specifically, those in grades seventh through 12th – spent their break Tuesday on the campus of Golden West Elementary West, acquiring some life lessons for future.
Jeremy Bates, better known as “The Hope Dealer,” spoke volumes to the estimated 178 who were enrolled in the one-day event sponsored by MUSD and Sutter Heath.
“His message was powerful,” said Chuck Crutchfield, who is the Director of Community Outreach for GECAC.
Bates grew up in a family defined by addiction and dysfunction, including abandonment. Along the way, he managed to overcome those obstacles by developing resiliency, cultivating dreams and never losing hope.
“The Hope Dealer” also talked about core choices involving young people, in particular, the consequences of underage drinking and drunk driving.
The 13th annual Teen Summit consisted of a variety of breakout sessions – As Seen on TV (Cooking Shows), Fit as a Firefighter, Dress for Success, Quick Eats Cheap, Get SMART Workout, Be Safe & Alert (martial arts), and Vaping & E-Cigs: The Ugly Truth.
“My teacher told be about this (Teen Summit),” said New Haven eighth grader Liberty Morrison, referring to Kathleen Corriea.
She took part in the firefighter session involving Michael Loomis, Curt Johnson and Ryan Avant of Manteca Fire Department Station No. 2. The three were last-minute replacements, according to Crutchfield.
“I want to be a First Responder,” said Morrison, who plans to enroll in the BE.Tech Charter High School.
Frank Sabala, formerly of GECAC and now with Excel Health & Fitness, had his students on the blacktop doing a variety of sprints and flexibility exercises.
“We worked on their athleticism and built new brain cells,” he said.
Another healthy choice session was that of Quick Eats Cheap.
“The misconception of eating healthy is that it’s expensive,” said GECAC Healthy Lifestyle Coordinator Sherly Sarkizzadeh, who blended up whole foods such as fruits and bran to make a smoothie bowl.
“It was easy to make,” Manteca High senior Heather Pang said.
MUSD provided the transportation and Panda Express provided the continental breakfast and lunch.
Crutchfield noted that the Teen Summit was put on hold a year ago when a major sponsors was forced pull out.