Archive for the ‘Community Teen Summit’ Category

Teen Summit on the Road to H-Town and beyond, and My Fave Five

June 1, 2008

The Journey

As you probably know, Deputy Mayor Dwaine Caraway took more than 150 kids on the road on Saturday. It was literally a 24-hour trip, and it was worth it.

With the help of many on city staff, chaperons, and some generous individuals, the kids were able to visit Houston and Galveston. The cost to the kids: nothing.

We left in the wee hours on Saturday, six buses deep, headed for the NASA Space Center.

We took the tram and did a full tour of the Space Center. Afterwards we got lunch then headed to Galveston to check out Moody Gardens, a Gaylord Texan-like center with a lot of different things going on. We went through the aquarium and the rain forest. We also stopped to eat before heading to the campus of Texas Southern. We had to cut our time short, but we promised the parents to get the kids back to Dallas within a certain time frame.

Any trip will have some glitches, but this was a very successful trip. I knew that I would not have “fun” on the trip, and I didn’t desire to because it was all about the kids having a great time.

My Fave Five

The one thing that worked well was keeping my group together. I called my group my “Fave Five,” like the T-mobile commercial. One, because I knew they would remember that. I was proud as they huddled up like an NBA team and talked about what they would do next. And I love the fact that they took pictures of everything (free disposable cameras were provided so the kids could take pictures).

There were tons of kids at Moody Gardens (some on our trip and some not). I am so proud of my Fave Five for looking out for each other. I am awed by the kids’ questions, their curiosity, and their level of appreciation. Tony, John, Angel, Malik, and Dominique are five young men that will stay in my heart for a long time.

Janet Morrison’s camera is way better than mine, so I “borrowed” a couple of her photos for this post.

The Naysayers and Haters

What I didn’t understand (and still don’t) that thought that this trip was some sort of publicity ploy. They ask questions like, “what can be accomplished by a one-day trip?” People like that, I can’t listen to anymore.

What kind of goal can a kid desire after this one-day trip? A goal to go out of town to college…a goal to be a part of the NASA space program or pursue interests in science that they never knew they had. I’m living proof that such programs, which may seem innocuous on the surface, can pique interests in youth than can change their lives. Life is doubly hard for kids that want to “make it.”

How many of my childhood friends do I have that are dead or in jail because no one gave a darn enough to talk to them or take them out of our ‘hood before they took a risk that ended their lives? Too many to count; that’s what is trying to be avoided. Many of these kids have been to multiple teen summits and I have watched them grow. One kid on our bus keeps his report card folded up in his wallet and was proud to show off his straight A’s and B’s. He told me he wanted to go to Morehouse, a wise choice!

No one person has the answer, and in reality all hands are needed on deck with the challenges that are being faced by today’s youth.

I will never forget this trip, and I will never forget about these kids. I hope to watch them continue to flourish and become the leaders that I know they can become.

Vanessa (one of the kids from the trip) and Janet put together a online photo/music album. Check it out:


Community Teen Summit Moving Outside the Walls of City Hall!

February 11, 2008

For the February ’08 Community Teen Summit, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway will be taking the show on the road.

The next Teen Summit will go on the road, providing local youth the chance to learn the ins and outs of the entertainment business. “Step into the Spotlight…Showcase Your Talent” will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Radio One Dallas, 13331 Preston Road, Suite 1180.

Dwaine is hosting along with 97.9 The Beat and the Miss Dallas Scholarship Organization. The event will feature representatives from the modeling, acting, pageant, advertising and record industries.

Here is the press release with registration info (link to image).

6th Community Teen Summit at City Hall

December 7, 2007

Dwaine Caraway is hosting his 6th Community Teen Summit on Saturday. As always, it will be on the 6th floor of City Hall. Co-hosting will be the Dallas chapter of The Links. The topic of discussion will be “Health & Wellness: Mind, Body, and Spirit”

Here is the link to the flyer (link).

Community Teen Summit #4

October 15, 2007

Last month, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway held an all-girls summit and this month he is focusing on issues that apply to young males. The all-boys Dallas Community Teen Summit is coming soon! It will be on October 27th and focus on personal image.

This is the fourth summit in the series. It’s just another campaign promise being carried out.

Teen Summit flyer: (link)

Love for the People

September 6, 2007

I talked to several people that are in the vicinity of where Dwaine lead the charge to take down the drug houses a few weeks ago. They told me that the neighborhood has changed for the better. There are still some issues, for the simple reason that you can’t change a neighborhood overnight. But the “crackhead stroll” in their neighborhood is now non-existent, because there’s no where to buy it.

I LOVE my seniors. When I say my seniors, I mean those folks in the District that held in down in their neighborhoods the best they could. They either can’t move or won’t move, remaining hopeful and prayerful that a change will come to their area. I haven’t known them as long as most, but I’ve grown attached to some of them because they pray for us and support us as we fight these battles.

This movement is about those seniors that live behind bars and can’t afford an ADT system to protect them. They’re trying to figure out whether to pay TXU or to buy some groceries. As we speak, one of my seniors has a big hole in her roof and ceiling and I’m trying to figure out if we can get her a grant of some sort.

This is about kids who deserve a shot at making it, and about parents that shouldn’t have to drive 30 minutes to go to the movies or to get a decent bag of groceries.

It’s about all of the great City staff and volunteers that put on the Community Teen Summit Forums and never ask for credit or recognition, but really make it happen for the kids that come down to City Hall. I can’t thank those volunteers enough.

When we say “A Block at a Time” it’s in our hearts, and if you can’t see that you have your own internal issues that you need to resolve. Growing up in the 80s, most of my friends are dead or in jail. They had no shot at making it, little support, and never grew strong enough to handle the pressure of growing up in the ‘hood. That’s why my fight will never stop.

I appreciate all of the neighborhood residents, city officials, pastors, community leaders and everyone else for their support in what we are trying to do. With your help and prayers, we will continue this journey.

July 29, 2007

History was Made at City Hall – The Kids Came First

On Saturday, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway and I Won’t Complain Ministries made history. Over 150 kids and parents packed City Hall (on a Saturday) to kick off Dwaine’s Community Teen Summit Series. It’s really about expanding the worlds of young people and catching them before they make bad choices that result in death or the jail system. On top of that, we want to give them real chances to succeed. This is all part of Dwaine’s 20-point plan on which he based his City Council Campaign.

This is the first in a series of summits. We will have a forum almost every month, ten within the next year.

Dwaine has had this on his heart for the entire time I’ve known him. He’s always said that he wanted to bring neighborhood youth to City Hall and expose them to another outlet and venue for opportunity. Then, right after he was elected, he met Tyrone, Aaron, and Takela Jackson with I Won’t Complain Ministries. The Jacksons (founders of the ministry) have all been incarcerated at some point in their lives and told powerful stories of despair, hope, and redemption to the crowd.

Bishop Larry McGriff started us off with prayer. From that point the Ordered Steps and Angel Faces youth dance group performed, members of DPD talked about the dangers of drugs (not just how bad the drugs are to use but the life/death risks of selling drugs), and community leaders gave advice and answered questions on a panel. Breakfast and lunch were provided, and the kids were able to take pictures with various Councilpeople and the Mayor. Thanks to Allyn & Company for their sponsorship.

For the record, the entire crowd followed the lead of Ms. Jill Beam of the Park Dept in doing the Cupid Shuffle on the floor of the Council Chambers. You have never seen kids so excited to be in City Hall.

The mission is to create leaders and show kids another avenue to pursue when shooting for their dreams, and to have goals in general. Some of these kids have never been outside of their own neighborhoods. We will be contacting and following up on these kids as time progresses.

I would personally like to thank Dwaine and I Won’t Complain Ministries for having the vision for such an event. It exceeded everyone’s expectations. In addition, I want to thank all of the volunteers that worked hard. The event was well attended by several councilpeople and the Mayor.

Once again, Dwaine is leading the way and changing the game at City Hall. In future sessions we will have focus groups and even more ways to expose the kids to different environments and opportunities.

News coverage is below:

Fox 4 Coverage:

NBC5 Coverage:

DMN Coverage (link)