Dreams for Common Action: Youth Summit

Reflect, Connect, Take Action for Positive Change

The Burlington Vermont COE Chapter held a Youth Summit on Sunday, January 23, 2011. There were 8 youth from local schools with their two teachers and a seven year old boy and his mother attended as well. Later in the day 3 more came to join us.

The youth were attentive and excited to learn about what COE is and about our projects. They were engaged during Nina and Kelly’s presentation and enthusiastically shared their personal stories with Brian Luke Seaward, our keynote speaker as he spoke about The Hero’s Journey.

The teachers and parent that attended the summit were also great participants and really supported the youth that were there. You could see the excitement in their faces when Annalise told them we are starting Vermont Chapter and invited them to join. They became very talkative and enthusiastic after Meghan shared information about the Bear Hugs for Haiti project, and were excited to help us. Hilary stood up with Meghan during the presentation dressed up in the Bear Costume. The kids loved the bear costume and ran up to give the bear hugs and take photos. The kids were so excited about joining the VT chapter and adored the idea of sending bears to Haiti. The seven year old boy told Meghan that he would donate a few of his own teddy bears and that he would bring a lot of information to his class so that they can help. He also drew a poster for us to use to promote the Bear Hugs project in the schools. We got all of their contact information, and the girls and their teacher lingered to speak with many of us for awhile after the activities were finished.

The day ended with a meditation by Nina and lots of group photos. We all shared what we had learned and how we were feeling about the day. The youth felt positive and inspired, and said that they learned new things about spirituality. One student even said he felt enlightened! Students left feeling optimistic, connected, and eager to get involved.

Staff: Nina Meyerhoff, Emina Burak, Meghan McCormick, Kelly Ramer, Annalise Cohen, Jillian Grieco, Hilary Bak, Ishtar
Keynote: Brian Luke Seaward: Spirituality & the Human Path