First annual Youth Summit kicks off in Savannah - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

First annual Youth Summit kicks off in Savannah

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

City leaders met with hundreds of teenagers Monday to talk about the obstacles facing youth in Chatham County.

The event, put on by the city of Savannah and Chatham County, was attended by students between the ages of 11-20 as well as parents. The students held group discussions to talk about the challenges and needs of their age group. At the end of the event, the information gathered will be presented to elected officials in order to come up with a strategic action plan for local youth issues.

WTOC spoke with Alderman Van Johnson who said the event is crucial, because if young people aren't given a voice at an early age, by the time they do, it might be too late.

"We see what happens when we don't listen to them. When we're ready to listen to them often times its from a position of disadvantage to them. It's because they've run into some issue. We have a lot of great young people in this community. We want them to be able to leave, get education, stay here, get education but come back and help our community."

City of Savannah spokesman Bret Ball said Mayor Edna Jackson plans to hold a town hall meeting next month to discuss the issues brought up at the 2013 Youth Summit.

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