Mayor Mims hosts teen youth summit, talks mental health, civic engagement
Dayton Mayor Jeffery Mims Jr. hosted a youth summit in Dayton on Wednesday. High school students from the area gathered to discuss youth mental health, purpose and passion, civic engagement, and mentorship.
As a former teacher and coach, Mims said he is dedicated to the youth of Dayton.
“Young people represent 20% of our population, but they are 100% of our future,” he said.
It is this belief that spurred Mims to hold the summit. The theme of the event was telling the kids “you matter,” that they are not alone in some of their hardships, and that people were there to help.
Dr. Stacy Worley is director of Dayton Public Schools Cultural Engagement and Inclusion. He’s also a former student of Mims’.
“Representing our young people and giving them a place and a platform to understand that they do really matter allows them to grow mentally, spiritually, physically, and find commonality among their peers,” he said.
By telling and showing the kids they matter, Mims hoped that they would take what they had learned and give back to Dayton.
“My goal is to create the kind of conditions in this city so that young people have some of the same kind of opportunities and experiences that my kids had,” he said.
The students in attendance are from schools from all over the region. Some were selected by their teachers or principals to attend the summit. Some, however, asked to attend.
Originally, Mims and other organizers expected between 140 and 180 students. But those who were selected began to talk, and other students became interested. Mims said on Tuesday, he began receiving texts and phone calls from students, teachers, and principals asking if more students could attend. He said that they could.
The surge in students made the morning check-in last longer than was expected, but having more students than expected was a good problem to have, Mims said.
The summit was held in the Sinclair Conference Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.