By Lincoln DePradine
A new event on this year’s Black History Month calendar is a youth-focused gathering in Toronto that chief organizer and host, Claudene Neysmith, says is designed to inspire young people to be “innovators and risk-takers’’.
“I also hope that it inspires them to become positive role models in their respective communities,’’ said Neysmith, who is responsible putting together “Youth Level Up – A Leadership Experience’’.
It will be held on Saturday, February 23, starting 9 a.m., at The YMCA, 20 Grosvenor Street, in Toronto.
“I would like to make this an annual event,’’ said Neysmith, a Howard University graduate, who operates Performance Plus One Incorporated.
The full-day event is targeting youth ages 12 – 19. However, Neysmith said parents, guardians and other adults are also being invited to be exposed to “five dynamic entrepreneur speakers and several volunteers’’ that include a filmmaker, a model, a DJ entertainment company owner, a sports manager, a “well-known Spoken Word Poet-Hip-Hopreneur’’, and a “community leader who runs his own successful youth program’’.
The Greater Toronto Area, said Neysmith, is “brimming’’ with youth talent.
“Sometimes they just need a little glimpse into what their future can be. They need to see where their principles, goals and ideas can take them,’’ she said.
“Youth need vision, goals and mentors who know what it is to aspire to be yourself and inspired by that sense of self, to set a path to success, happiness and ultimately to have the ability to give back to their community. This event offers that open door to our youth.’’
For advance registration, visit eventbrite.ca