YAT’s wizardly wisdom shines
Irvine’s High School Youth Action Team (HSYAT) recently organized its 23rd annual Teen Summit, a free conference intended to encourage high school students to live positive and proactive lives. Held at the Lakeview Senior Center on Mar. 4, Teen Summit gave students from across the city the opportunity to meet peers from other high schools and attend a variety of teen-related workshops.
The workshops were presented by various Irvine high school teachers and other local community members, including Northwood’s own Choral teacher Zach Halop, who gave a presentation on Career Exploration. Other workshops included “How to Live a Positive and Influential Life,” “Public Speaking” and a college panel where students from Notre Dame, UCSB, UCSD, and others who shared their college experiences and offered advice to the attendees.
“My favorite part of Teen Summit was the workshop by Philip Chow from Beckman High School about being a positive influence,” junior Nicole Lai said. “Chow’s workshop was really inspiring and encouraged me to be a positive influence on others and to be grateful for all that I have.”
YAT Teen Summit was a student-organized event, planned by a team of students from all the Irvine high schools. Event planners from Northwood included seniors Rebecca Chen and Sohini Halder, and junior Sarah Elmashat, all who attended weekly meetings starting in January to plan everything from the summit’s content to donations and event setup.
“My experience was a little different than other attendees because I work for HSYAT, and we essentially plan Teen Summit,” Chen said. “My personal role on the planning committee was to do graphic design. I designed the graphics that went on the shirts, posters, fliers and other advertisements. The experience was definitely intense, with weekly meetings for eight weeks leading up to the event, but it was really fun at the same time.”
Since the theme of this year’s summit was Harry Potter, students could also participate in a Harry Potter Kahoot trivia game and attend a Harry Potter movie screening. A variety of activities were offered including breakfast, Yogurtland and the chance to win an assortment of prizes and gift cards.
“Teen Summit was a great way to meet other high school students from all over Irvine,” Elmashat said. “I thought it was really inspiring to see all those students come together on a Saturday morning and spend time gaining knowledge and learning valuable skills for the future. In each workshop, all the students were actively engaged and listening to the speakers’ stories and advice, showing just how much they truly cared about what was being said. I would love to help plan Teen Summit again next year so I can meet new people and help organize another successful event!”
Northwood’s Youth Action Team club meets every other Wednesday at lunch in Erik Emery’s room, 1005, to inform members of volunteer opportunities and community events offered in the city throughout the school year. These events address a variety of needs and interests of the Northwood student body and encourage them to become actively involved in their local community.