Youth To Offer Solutions For Social Problems

Mar 11, 2013

A conference Tuesday will provide a platform for youth to offer their plans for solutions for problems from homelessness to bullying.

The Mental Health Association of Tulsa’s ListenUp Tulsa conference will feature eight young presenters, who will speak for five minutes each before a panel of area business and civic leaders.

“The goal is,” said MHA’s Chris Siemens, “to try to come up with a solution for the presenters to implement something into the community.”

After each presentation, the panel will have five minutes to ask questions.

Later, in small groups, panelists will workshop the ideas with the presenters.

At the end of the day, attendees will choose a best presentation.

“We’ll have everybody vote on which presentation they think will be the easiest to implement,” Siemens said, “and we’ll award that presentation with a $500 startup grant.”

“We’ll work closely with them in trying to get their project started,” Siemens said.

The conference happens every other year.

Though this is the first year for the startup grant, other ListenUp participants have gone on to see their projects implemented. Some include school-specific improvements, such as an effort to put doors back on bathroom stalls.

“We’ve had youth talk about teen pregnancy issues, underage drinking,” Siemens said, “and those youths have been invited to speak at the capitol.”

ListenUp Tulsa 2013 will be 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Greenwood Cultural Center.