The conference trains adults who serve youth to create safe, healthy, caring, and intellectually empowering educational environments that foster the well-being of all children and adolescents. In these presentations, participants learn about current research-based educational programs and strategies, which empower young people to overcome at-risk conditions that may threaten their safety, health, emotional needs, or academic achievement. Participants also gain knowledge of proactive solutions and best practices for meeting the serious challenges faced by many of our youth today such as school violence, poverty, learning difficulties, underachievement, achievement gaps, illiteracy, boredom, apathy, low expectations, misbehavior, dropout, drugs, bullying, gangs, teen pregnancy, sexual harassment, racism, and dysfunctional families. Furthermore, participants gain effective educational tools to build strong caring schools, communities, and families, which can meet the diverse needs of all our young people. Illustrative of the conference mission, the conference logo–consisting of three overlapping circles–represents the well-trained collaborative efforts of schools, families, and communities in fostering the well-being of our youth.
- Identify specific instructional strategies to increase student engagement and achievement in school.
- Examine social issues that place youth at risk and identify steps to address these issues to increase student engagement and achievement in school.
- Determine the characteristics of family and individuals that protect against risk factors and identify strategies to foster resiliency in youth-at-risk.
- Determine the importance for increased self-advocacy by youth in the planning, operating, and evaluation of youth-focused programs and organizations.
- Examine prevention programs that are effective for youth-at-risk and identify strategies used in these programs to increase student engagement and achievement.
- Examine attitudes and beliefs for youth-at-risk and determine methods for personal change and growth that will positively impact the support and development youth-at-risk.