Learn About the Conference

Peggy Pecchio, Executive Director OK, Inc. Twinsburg, OH

OK, Inc.’s Reach to Teach Workshop – General Session

Youth today, often referred to as Gen Z-ers, are the first generation that have been raised on technology. They go to the internet to gain access to information and interact with others. Some reports suggest many of today’s teens are online almost 24/7 with almost all of them owning a cell phone. They are tech-savvy, tech-dependent, and tech-social. Through social media, youth form and strengthen bonds with friends, and entertain and influence each other through sites such as YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. To reach this generation, we must move beyond traditional modes of teaching and outdated technology to meet Gen Z-ers where they are—online. Programs should foster and establish collaboration between school systems and youth-serving organizations within their communities and states so that adolescent risk behaviors adversely affecting teen relationships can be effectively addressed.

OK, Inc. has established the Friends4Friends (F4F) Campaign—a youth leadership project that has provided youth from a diverse group of schools an opportunity to become peer leaders and change agents through multi-media production—an emerging trend in youth advocacy. Students have developed over twenty short films, enabling them to have a voice that brings awareness to risk behaviors they feel adversely affect the relationships in their schools and communities. OK, Inc.’s Reach to Teach workshop will share with attendees the methods and strategies of the Friends4Friends (F4F) Campaign which has had documented international reach.

The F4F Campaign short films have been showcased at annual F4F Film Festivals that necessitated the collaboration between schools, community organizations, and stakeholders. In addition, the short films have been launched on YouTube to encourage other youth nationally and internationally to start a conversation through youth-relevant technology.

Attendees of the workshop will be provided 1) a guide on how to start a campaign; 2) a step-by-step film development template that includes developing a story line, 3) a tutorial on filming with youth within a limited time frame; 4) lessons learned; and 5) the opportunity to break into small groups to strategize how to improve collaboration between communities, both nationally and internationally, using short films as a vehicle for change.

By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to 1) identify at least three advantages to youth-led advocacy utilizing social media, and 2) describe three strategies to maximize the use of short films and social media through a youth-led initiative to promote collaboration.

Myron Lewis, Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor, Akron OH

Peace Circles Workshop is conducted by youth violence prevention advocate Myron Lewis. In Summit Co. a Peace, Justice, and Equality Committee was formed to address juvenile delinquency and system improvement efforts to reduce the overrepresentation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system. That Committee includes a variety of community representatives such as youth, public schools, grassroots and community leaders, and organizations that provide community activities and conduct youth outreach. The Workshop will introduce the concept, provide an implementation primer and prepare you to begin a Peace Circle in your school or community.

Andrea Boxill, Deputy Director, Governor’s Cabinet on Opiate Action Team

Opioids and Heroin; Ohio’s Response. The Deputy Director’s Workshop to address the epidemic in Ohio includes the history of the drug, its effects on society and how communities can have a collaborative response.

Sherry Bouquet, Ashland University Adjunct Professor, Ashland, OH

Trauma Informed Care Workshop conducted by Sherry Bouquet addresses changing student needs and the need for those who serve students to learn specific tools to address issues. Many changing student needs are shaped by traumatic experiences which have impacted their developing brain. When a basic overview of the developmental differences are grasped, basic principles for working with children from hard places can be incorporated. Although the developing brain can be damaged by the effects of trauma, the good news is the brain is still developing.

Film – I Am Jane Doe

I Am Jane Doe” is a 99 minute film that tells the story of the battle that a number of mothers are waging against Backpage.com on behalf of their minor daughters who were victims of sex trafficking on the website.

Beth Ann Rasey, OCPS – Concerned About Teen Success Peer Led Prevention, Alliance for Healthy Youth, Akron, OH

Mega Voice Workshop is presented by high school youth who are members of the C.A.T.S. program. C.A.T.S. purpose is to lead peers toward health and responsibility. Workshop presenters represent sixty youth volunteers who participate in the program that helps peers avoid risk behaviors and develop healthy relationships. C.A.T.S. members create their own peer-relevant presentations utilizing various communication platforms coupled with their own unique style. Because of the commitment and talent of its members, the high school classroom-based program has operated for thirty years. Workshop attendees will have opportunity to interact with C.A.T.S. members during the workshop and learn how to implement their own program.

Addiction and Relationships Workshop – Ben Driver, RUC Instructor, Relationships Under Construction (RUC)

Relationships Under Construction Project #1

Relationships Under Construction Project #2

Relationships Under Construction Project #3

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