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Highlands HS Hosts 2nd Annual Youth Summit

Highlands School District and community stakeholders held its 2nd Annual Youth Summit, entitled “Hope for the Future”, on April 30, 2019 at Highlands High School. The goal of the event was to encourage students to realize, utilize and pursue the multitude of resources and educational and career opportunities available in their own community and region.


Students listened to keynote speakers and participated in breakout sessions, workshops, and a job and career fair. Workshop topics included personal banking skills, resume writing, dressing for success and interviewing, careers in the trades, military, healthcare and entrepreneurship, Alateen, and concerns with vaping and nicotine. 


The first keynote speaker was Ms. Maurita Bryant, Assistant Superintendent for Allegheny County Police, who presented a program entitled "The Law and Your Community", which is endorsed by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE). And at the end of the day, students gathered to listen to remarks from Rev. Eugene Beard, who is the retired Assistant Deputy Chief of the PA Attorney General's office. 


The event was coordinated by the “Hope for the Future” Committee, which includes Highlands High School principal Charlie Mort, Highlands School Board President Debbie Beale and Highlands High School counselor Marilyn Skwortz; and community stakeholders Sydney Hayden (event initiator), Rev. John P. Bailey, Robin Bergstrom, Police Chief Michael Vogel, Police Chief Michael Klein, Rev. Raphael K. Koikoi Jr., Jace Ransom, Selena Foster and Anita Minnis.


Check out this 3-minute highlight video of the Youth Summit!


Workshop presenters included:

Dress for Success: JC Penney - Timmie Brown & Debbie Spehar

Personal Banking & Money Management - Anna Frank & Mary Arturo, 1st Commonwealth Bank & Micah Larson, AXA Association

Resume Writing - HHS Counselors Marilyn Skwortz, Dr. Susan Gurrera and Mary Beth Carrarini

Careers in Trades - Pittsburgh Reg. Building Trade Council & Builders Guild of Western PA

Dangers of Vaping - Mike Luxemberger (Pittsburgh Mercy) and Tiffany Babinsack (Tobacco Free Allegheny)

Careers in Social Media / Entrepreneurship - David Hudley

Careers in Health Care - Allegheny Valley Hospital


Community businesses, agencies, organizations and individuals participating include:


Alle-Kiski Health Foundation

Plumbers & Electricians

Carpenters Union

Oberg Manufacturing


Sheet Metal Workers

Welding/Pipe Fitting

Laborers Union

Builders Guild of Western PA


Burger King


Bloomfield - Garfield Corp. Jason Jackson

Frank Dermody

Deborah D. Booker Center

AIU - Head Start

Robert Morris University

Clarion University

Penn State New Kensington

Forbes Road CTC

Armed Forces Recruiters

Community College of Allegheny County

Citizens Hose Rescue & EMS


Alle-Kiski Health Foundation


Penn United Technologies

Family Resources

The Teamsters (Truck Drivers) Local 249

Allegheny Valley Hospital

Dollar Bank


Event Contributors include:


Alle-Kiski Health Foundation

First Commonwealth Bank

Sheldon Park Resident Council

Office of Children Youth & Families

Dollar Bank

American Legion Post 226, Brackenridge