"Elevate Youth Summit" calls on youth to "evaluate"

PROGRESS PHOTOS/Diana Dickinson

Youths from seven counties participated in the Elevate Northeast Youth Summit and were engaged throughout the day in learning more about manufacturing and available careers.

Nearly 400 youth from seven counties came together to learn more about careers in manufacturing and networking opportunities Tuesday during the “Elevate Youth Summit” held at Pryor High School’s Burdick Center.

For some — such as Caleb Hendrickson, 21, of Chelsea — it was about connecting to a summer job while home on college break. He is studying to be a physical therapist at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo.

The summit, according to Hendrickson, was pretty effective for a lot of those who just graduated, as well as, those still attending school.

“I did not have this opportunity to attend anything like this when I was in high school or upon graduating. The conference gave insight; it told me how to better my future and pull resources together. Elevate did that,” he concluded.

Hendrickson found the summit to be very interesting with a lot of marketing and manufacturing jobs. But what impacted him most was motivational speaker, Jeremy Bout.

“He talked about how you had to be driven in life to get what you want. It made me look at myself and evaluate what I am doing — to see if I am pursuing 100 percent of my goals,” he said.

Bout also described to the attendees how much opportunity there is in manufacturing and that every product around them has been manufactured by someone.

Amy Bayless, of Rose, said the booths were set up with “very knowledgeable people who could answer any question you asked.”

“I am currently a Certified Nurse Assistant and would eventually like to get my LPN or RN — but I do want to step outside of the medical field and look more into Human Resources or other businesses,” she added.

“AcroDunk” brought their energy to the summit by performing during lunch. The acrobatic slam-dunking team entertained the youths while also having a few attendees participate.

Youths visited the booths for GRDA, Armed Forces Recruiters, Rogers State University and various other vendors.

Scott Fry, Director of OSU-Institute of Technology in Pryor said, “It is a goal of the Northeast Oklahoma Workforce Investment Board and its partners to reach out to area youth in order to engage and expose them to the opportunities which exist in northeast Oklahoma. We also hope to create the workforce our employers need and generate prosperity for our citizens.”

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