Leadership summit encourages local teens

Leadership summit encourages local teens

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - A big opportunity for teenagers in Pima County on Friday as they sat down with professionals from a wide range of career fields.

The grand ball room at the University of Arizona filled with teens, learning and being encouraged to become leaders of their school and community.

"It's applicable tools that they can have and it's an experience you are not going to get in the classroom because it is around so many other peers from different schools so I think it's an opportunity for students to to really look at life and how can I contribute in a way that I am passionate about," said Julia Garcia, the keynote speaker for the teen summit. She has a special way with connecting with students.

Behind the purple hair and the purple lip stick, is a woman that has been through a ton of rough patches.

“In college I almost got kicked out. I was a party girl. I have been in rehab, I have struggled with depression, suicide ideation,” said Garcia. “I come from a broken home myself.”

All of those issues and feelings helps her with speaking tours around the nation. It allows her to use her story to impact the lives of these teens today.

"It actually made me really emotional because I connected to a lot of stuff she was saying and I loved how everyone else was really involved with it and how many other people actually had similar experiences as I did," said Edna Maxwell, a junior at Arizona College Prep.

Edna has dreams of being a lawyer one day. Right now though, she's using what she learned from the teen summit to be a leader.

“I really realize that I need to stand up and be a role model,” she said. “So that they understand we are capable of being more than our background.”

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