West Virginia State University to Host Teen Summit Against Drugs July 2

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
June 27, 2014
West Virginia State University to Host Teen Summit Against Drugs July 2

INSTITUTE, W.Va. -- The West Virginia State University (WVSU) Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math-Science Programs in conjunction with the Partnership of African-American Churches will sponsor a Teen Summit Against Drugs on Wednesday, July 2.

The Summit will take place in the Wilson University Union on the WVSU campus beginning at 9 a.m. and will feature workshops by community leaders as well as games and informational sessions for both parents and teenagers. As part of the Summit, Upward Bound participants’ artwork, related to a variety of current events, will be on display.

“The Summit is designed to increase the awareness of the perils of drug use and to offer alternatives for teenagers,” said Barbara Cary, Director of the Upward Bound program at WVSU. “The Summit theme is ‘Celebrating Yourself’ and serves as a reminder that all students are valuable and deserve the opportunity to live out their lives to the fullest potential.”

Deanna McKinney will be the featured speaker at the Summit’s noon luncheon. McKinney’s 19-year-old son, Tymel, was shot and killed while sitting on his front porch on Charleston’s West Side earlier this year.

Since her son’s murder, McKinney has spoken out against drugs and violence and organized a community march held in April urging city residents to come together and stop the violence.

“I do not know what I am going to say when I stand before a group to speak.  I just speak from my heart and pray that I have touched someone,” McKinney said. “My child was a good child who touched the lives of people that I never knew until his death.  My goal is to continue to help people as he did. I always look forward to speaking with young children.”

At 1 p.m. Dr. Terry Smith will conduct a special workshop for parents. Smith is the Director of Special Education at the Regional Educational Services Agency (RESA) 2 in Huntington and is a 26-year education veteran. His workshop is designed to help parents increase their understanding of the drugs their children may be encountering as well as to offer preventive steps that parents can take to assist their children from falling prey to the drug scene.

This is the first Teen Summit, but Cary said she hopes it becomes an annual event.

Throughout the Upward Bound program, participants have studied current events and expressed their views through artwork. Student art will be on display during the Summit.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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