FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Inside of the Taw Caw Community Outreach Center in Summerton, S.C., many young people and parents gathered together to participate in the first Lets Talk About You Youth Expo, March 29.
Spc. Stacy Georgia, a supply specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 81st Regional Support Command at Fort Jackson, S.C., created and coordinated the youth expo to give young people a safe place to open up about their issues.
"It's not enough that we're losing (young people) to violence," said Georgia, "but how many parents even realize that their child hates school because of their peers and not because of academics Therefore, we have to do something because if we don't, we're going to lose more than what we think."
Furthermore, Georgia says providing a place for young people to express themselves freely is her mission because it's something she didn't have when she was a teenager.
"It doesn't matter what you go through, you always have to find someone (who) you can trust and go to, to help empower you to do what you're supposed to," Georgia said.
"So for me," Georgia added, "if I had of known that I had this I wouldn't have had all of the issues that I had. It would have helped tremendously to just have had someone to talk to back then."
In addition to discussing topics that ranged from self-esteem, attitude to trust, Georgia and a panel of volunteers from her community performed various scenarios of everyday situations and how to handle them.
"I want (these young people) to have hope for their future and learn from their past," said Sophia Ellis, founder of Youth With Ambition. " … I want them to be eagles and have hope to soar and reach higher heights beyond what their life has presented to them already."
After concluding the discussion, the group ate lunch and the males and females were later separated in order to talk about more personal issues.
"Something like this is important because it gives people our age a place to express (ourselves)," said Faithe Oliver, a junior at Scott's Branch High School, "(We) don't have to worry about being judged when (we) come here."
The next Let's Talk About You Youth Expo is scheduled for May 31 at noon inside the Taw Caw Community Outreach Center.
For more information about the youth expo or how to get involved, please email Georgia at firstname.lastname@example.org.