Ur­gent, Inc. reg­is­ter­ing 500 youth for Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Con­fer­ence

South Florida Times - - METRO - Staff Re­port

MI­AMI – For the fourth year, Mi­ami Dade Col­lege North Cam­pus has gra­ciously opened its blue and grey doors to part­ner with Ur­gent, Inc. to host the an­nu­alYouth Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Con­fer­ence. This year the tra­di­tion will con­tinue July 11-12 at the col­lege lo­cated at 11380 NW 27 Av­enue in Mi­ami.

This event al­lows youth ages 14-21 a free in­ter­ac­tive and ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence thanks to the col­lege, The Chil­dren’s Trust, South­east Over­town Park West Com­mu­nity Re­de­vel­op­ment Agency and many other bene­fac­tors.

The con­fer­ence will open each day fea­tur­ing the highly an­tic­i­pated Youth 4 So­cial Change Film Fes­ti­val.The fes­ti­val pre­mieres shorts from youth film­mak­ers from around the coun­try, and a win­ning short will be se­lected at the end of the con­fer­ence. There will be work­shops, youth-led ex­pos and mas­ter classes from film and tele­vi­sion in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als.

The bal­ance of the con­fer­ence will fo­cus on Arts, Cod­ing and Tech­nol­ogy, En­trepreneur­ship, Hospi­tal­ity and Tourism, and Jour­nal­ism, all in­dus­tries in line with Mi­ami Dade County’s One Com­mu­nity, One Goal.

Mi­ami Dade Col­lege North will also of­fer stu­dent-led cam­pus tours, cred­ited Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion Cour­ses in Tech­nol­ogy and Film, and an in­tro­duc­tion to MDC’s cur­ricu­lum in the ar­eas of Sciences and Foren­sics.

Other con­fer­ence/expo high­lights in­clude the Youth Town Hall Meet­ing fo­cused on ed­u­ca­tion and em­ploy­ment, an en­trepreneur­ship panel fea­tur­ing CEO’s un­der the age of 20, youth-led arts and en­trepreneur­ship ex­pos, and break­out ses­sions.

The con­fer­ence is a win­ning op­por­tu­nity for youth, lit­er­ally.

“Last year’s con­fer­ence was awe­some. We pre­sented our ra­dio talk show with Ms. Jill Tracey,” said 18-year old Deon­dre Mar­shall, “And I de­signed the t-shirts se­lected for the con­fer­ence. It was the t-shirt with the globe as puz­zle pieces and it read, ‘Shap­ing the World/Putting the Pieces To­gether.’ I thought, youth have the power to change the world, so how about we build it.”

The art com­pe­ti­tion will se­lect and fea­ture youth art­work at theYouth Mart where young in­ven­tors and mer­chants sell their wares. Ad­di­tion­ally, young in­ven­tors and en­trepreneurs can pitch their ideas at the Ur­ban Phi­lan­thropies Busi­ness Pitch Com­pe­ti­tion and the win­ners will re­ceive start-up funds and equip­ment.

The key­note speaker for the first day is ‘carpreneur’ and me­chan­i­cal ex­pert Lowell Gelin who will speak to a con­fer­ence room full of youth about the keys to suc­cess in a 20minute speech.

Gelin is the CEO and Au­to­mo­tive Di­ag­nos­tic Spe­cial­ist of On Call Me­chan­ics in Davie, Florida. He is com­mit­ted to pre­miere ser­vice and de­vel­op­ing young peo­ple in the com­mu­nity.

“I men­tor in­car­cer­ated youth on a weekly ba­sis. We’ve trained and em­ployed young peo­ple who want to get ex­pe­ri­ence in the me­chanic and au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try. So when asked if I would share my pas­sion with young peo­ple at this con­fer­ence for the sec­ond year, the an­swer was a re­sound­ing yes,” said Gelin who was a work­shop fa­cil­i­ta­tor in 2016.

Moziah Bridges of Moz Bows is a 15-year old CEO and the key­note speaker on Day Two. He be­gan his ca­reer as a bow tie de­signer at the age of nine. He was in­tro­duced to the craft by his grand­mother who gave him the ma­te­ri­als, taught him how to sew and en­cour­aged him to be cre­ative.

Bridges cred­its her with giv­ing his wardrobe “a ma­jor up­grade.”That cre­ativ­ity has led him to a con­tract de­sign­ing ties and bow ties for ball play­ers in the Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (NBA). He and his mother,Tram­ica, will share the op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges fam­i­lies en­dure when em­bark­ing on the pur­suit of a young en­tre­pre­neur’s dreams.

A host of guests, part­ners and friends are ex­pected to make an ap­pear­ance in­clud­ing elected of­fi­cials, cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tives and com­mu­nity lead­ers.

Ur­gent Inc.’s vice pres­i­dent Sal­iha Nel­son rec­og­nizes the con­tri­bu­tion of the many peo­ple in­volved to make this con­fer­ence hap­pen each year.

“We want this year’s event to be a high en­ergy, ed­u­ca­tional event, so much so, the 500 youth lead­ers and largest au­di­ence we’ve ever had will walk away and be able to use the tools learned atYEDC2017 to im­pact and trans­form com­mu­ni­ties through­out Mi­amiDade County.”

Teens, par­ents, groups and vol­un­teers can visit www.ur­gentinc­confer­ence.com to reg­is­ter.

PHO­TOS COUR­TESY OF UR­GENT, INC.

Last year’s (2016) con­fer­ence was filled with youth who re­ceived lots of valu­able knowl­edge an in­for­ma­tion

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