BOCA RATON (CBS4) – Getting students motivated to do anything is often one of the toughest jobs parents and teachers face. But a youth symposium being held in South Florida hopes to encourage students to be a catalyst for change.

The “I am Change” event is being held in collaboration with Florida Atlantic University and Core Group of South Florida organizations, including a local organization called Leadership Education and Development.

L.E.A.D. chairman, Shevrin Jones said the symposium will bring 1500 “youth together to empower them to give them that voice that they are missing out on.”

Derrick Jones, 12, is attending the symposium. In light of the Trayvon Martin’s case and the shooting that has gained national attention, Jones said he needs guidance.

“It makes me kind of scared because I don’t know what might happen so I’m kind of scared,” Jones said.

Jones says in his social studies class they listened to the 911 call and read about the Martin case. In fact, some students, including Jones, took Skittles and bottle of iced tea to school to show support for his family.

Jones’ mother, Nicole Jones, said she has three boys and she will not let them out of sight.

“The young man came from this area it’s very scary having three boys growing up in an area where you are not safe anymore. It could have just as well been one of our children,” Nicole said.

Organizers of the “I am Change” event will be discussing the Martin case. Its focus is also to serve as a foundation for the group’s youth focused outreach and educational initiatives. Organizers hope this event is a provides a blueprint to empower the youth ambassadors.

The symposium will take place over three days with events spanning the tri-county area.

On Thursday night, Dr. Cornel West will be speaking at Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton Campus. On Friday, the symposium will move to Miami Gardens to Carol City High School.

If you would like additional information, click here.


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