The NC Youth Summit was developed out of the idea for young adults from the state of North Carolina to coming together to evaluate and address statewide critical youth/young adult issues, identify commonalities, share best practices, and develop value added solutions.
The idea to host a Statewide Youth Summit originated from four individuals that had a vast interest in working with youth to help them succeed in life. The four originators were Margie Parker, Workforce Development Director from the Cape Fear Workforce Development Board, Sheryl Lange, Youth Program Manager from Northeastern Workforce Development Board, Keith Lipscomb from Greensboro/ High Point/ Guildford Workforce Development Board, and Barbara Bergman (former Youth Leads Coordinator at the state level). In 2005, after attending a conference together in Wilmington, the four arranged to meet and discuss ways to bring young adults from across the state together to voice their concerns and ideas on ways to improve youth services.
In 2006, Lashauna Parker (Cape Fear Workforce Development Board) and Allison Bowers (Davidson Workforce Development Board) met at the NAWDP Conference in Charlotte. The two continued the conversation with Mrs. Parker, Mr. Lipscomb, Mrs. Bergman and Mrs. Lange about the future of the the Summit.
The result of that conversation? Bowers and Parker decided they would now plan a Statewide Youth Summit for youth/young adults participating in Workforce Investment Act (WIA) services. Every local area Youth Council in North Carolina was polled to gain feedback about their concerns for youth/young and their interest in convening for a collective Summit. The response was outstanding! Over eighteen (18) local workforce development areas expressed interest in serving on the planning committee and wanted to see this event come to fruition.
The impact of the Summit would go on to send a positive message across the state of North Carolina of the importance of a youth/young adult voice. Their voice would go on to emphasize the positive change that youth/young adults can inspire with the support of the former Workforce Investment Act (WIA) now the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)!
In 2016, the NC Youth Summit celebrated their 10th anniversary! With all signs pointing onward and upward, Young Adult, One Voice continue to:
- Serve North Carolina’s Youth and Young Adults;
- Empower youth/young adults to make a difference in their communities;
- Strengthen collaboration efforts among local areas;
- Provide youth/young adults an opportunity to engage, listen and share their ssues across the state, determine commonalities, differences and develop solutions;
- Bring youth/young adults from different cultures and backgrounds together with respect to each others differences; and
- Develop relationships to drive a passionate movement among our future leaders