BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Teenagers today face a variety of problems, including violence at school, dating violence, bullying, social media issues, hunger, homelessness, human trafficking, peer pressure and more.
A local summit for teens hopes to help.
The Teens Overcoming Pressure Summit (T.O.P.S.) is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, at the Daytona Beach Police Department headquarters, located at 129 Valor Blvd.
The event is for boys and girls ages 13-17 and their families.
The goal of T.O.P.S. is to reduce the incidents of teen dating violence and to promote healthy relationships by teaching and guiding our youth through positive self-image, effective mannerism, positive behavior and self-motivation.
“We’re trying to motivate the youth to have more confidence in themselves. They are dealing with a lot of issues. There are kids with low self-esteem and others that don’t fit in with the crowd,” said Sandra Stapp, local president of National Hook-up of Black Women. The organization is hosting the event.
“We want them to know the importance of loving themselves and that they are somebody.’’
Dressing for success too
The event will also focus on dressing for success, empowerment, knowing your rights, literacy, and more.
Qutila Jones will be the guest speaker of the summit. Jones is a prevention advocate with the Beacon Center for Domestic Abuse Council in DeLand.
The facility provides emergency shelter, outreach, a children’s program, economic empowerment and attorney assistance for parents.
Reaching them early
“We try to reach them young so that when they’re older, they’ll be more confident and determined, which can lead them to be successful. We won’t reach everyone, but we can reach someone,” Strapp told the Daytona Times.
The National Hook-Up of Black Women is a non-profit organization aimed to improve the lives of women and children through education, art, health and human services.
The local chapter began operations in September 2018 but became official charter in April 2019.
“We were already at work but received our charter in 2019 at the National convention in Washington, D.C. We’re honored and ready to continue the work and legacy of the organization,” Strapp noted.
First such event
The summit is one of the many national events presented by the National Hook-Up of Black Women, but it’s the first local one.
“It’s a part of our national agenda. This is our first one that we’re doing her locally. We’ll do more. We want the teens and their parents in our local community to show up and learn valuable information.”
The local organization has other programs in place, including a scholarship program for graduating seniors.
“We’ll have programs designed to help children and women especially. There will be some things for men as well,” stated Strapp.
For more information, call 386-847-5785 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.