14 August 2017

UPLIFT Youth Empowerment Conference 2017


Photo Credit: Zeek Boujoly Classic Photography
With big toothy smiles and eager open minds, dozens of students arrived early at C.B. Smith Park to participate in the first UPLIFT Youth Empowerment Conference. It was a warm summer day filled with confidence building workshops, with topics ranging from college preparation to fitness and healthy eating. The goal was simple, Inspire the Youth.

Constance Jones Simmons & Miami Artist Troy Simmons Speaking on Uplift Panel
Photo Credit: Zeek Boujoly Classic Photography
We Stand Together, Inc, the nonprofit organization who hosted the event, asked my husband Miami Artist Troy Simmons, and me to speak during the Youth Panel Discussion. My role was to moderate the conversation, while each guest speaker talked about their pathway to success.
Photo Credit: Zeek Boujoly Classic Photography
The hour-long conversation delved into darker issues effecting teens, especially in the world of teen bullying and how social media plays an immense and dangerous part in the process.
Photo Credit: Zeek Boujoly Classic Photography
Photo Credit: Zeek Boujoly Classic Photography
The Founder & President of "We Stand Together, Incorporated" Natalie Surpris was inspired to start the group by her own battle. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2015 and has been on/off chemo since then.  "We Stand Together" was actually a slogan used by her family and friends while watching her fight colon cancer. In the midst of all of that, she has been dedicated to serving the community. For more information on We Stand Together, Inc- please click here.