Teen Summit 2015 was the first major event under WOD’s nonprofit status. Held on March 21, 2015 on the campus of Rutgers University-Camden, Teen Summit served as a catalyst to stimulate honest and thought-provoking discussion about challenges and issues facing disadvantaged girls today. The theme – “Camden Girls on the Road to Success” – connotes the ability of these young girls to lead healthy and productive lives despite their high-risk status.
The program commenced with words of wisdom and motivation from keynote speaker Susan L. Taylor, editor-in-chief emeritus at Essence and founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement. The Honorable Mayor Dana Redd showed her support of WOD through her attendance and brief message to the girls, and presentation of a Mayor’s proclamation to WOD.
During the afternoon hours the girls participated in confidential workshops on teen pregnancy, healthy versus unhealthy relationships, self-love and respect, and setting and reaching career goals. Facilitated by experienced workshop leaders, the teen girls actively engaged in honest and open discussion about their lives and hopes & dreams for the future. Adult attendees comprised of parents, teachers, counselors, volunteers and other stakeholders simultaneously participated in workshops on effective parenting strategies, health and wellness, financial matters, and prevention of obesity.