Kinston Teens to hold fifth annual event

Kinston Teens to hold fifth annual event

Kinston Teens Founder and CEO Chris Suggs makes a presentation during Monday’s City Council meeting about the upcoming youth summit. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News

Area youth have an opportunity to attend an impactful event this weekend.

Kinston Teens will hold its annual Youth Summit starting Thursday; the four-day event will have numerous event for those in attendance. Chris Suggs, founder and CEO of Kinston Teens, said there will be a slew of events as the organization reaches a significant milestone.

“This is the fifth year the organization has hosted this summit, and it is one of our largest and most impactful events every year,” Suggs said. “Our organization recognizes how social issues, crime, health disparities, drugs and other problems disproportionately affect young people, and at this summit we hope to empower youth to find solutions to make a positive difference.”

On Thursday, there will be a youth mixer and open mic at the Kinston Arts Council, and the event will be headlined by bestselling author Chanice Lee. In 2017 at the age of 15, Lee — who hails from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — wrote the book “Young Revolutionary: A Teen’s Guide to Activism” and self-published it a year later. There will be several other national young leaders in attendance, including 19-year-old Minister Shania Bennett — the youngest elected official in Philadelphia — along with Black Youth Network, Inc. cofounder and Florida State student, 20-year-old Craig Terrell Robey, and 19-year-old Valdosta, Ga. activist, organizer and communications specialist Jonelle Christopher.

The event will run from 6-9 p.m., with door prizes and refreshments provided.

On Friday, from noon to 2 p.m., Kinston Teens will have a service project at the organization’s vision garden at 601 Chestnut St. The area was once a vacant lot, and now serves as a garden and communal space.

Saturday marks the Youth Summit event, located at Rochelle Middle School from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The event is created to empower young leaders, activists, entrepreneurs and “change-makers” through a series of workshops, leadership development exercises and panel discussions.  

The final event takes place Sunday, with a church service at Faith Tabernacle United Holy Church, 400 Adkin St.

All events are free to the public. To register for Saturday’s summit, people from ages 12-22 can visit Kinstonteens.org/youthsummit.




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