Empowering Area Youth

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Peoria native and director of player personnel for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, David Booth, is hosting a first of its kind event in his home town.

Y.E.S., or Youth Empowerment Summit, will take place July 28 and 29.

The two-day conference will begin with a full-day symposium at the Caterpillar Global Center at Bradley University.

Booth, who was a basketball star at Manual High School and DePaul University, says he’s bringing in a lot of help to meet the youth who attend.

Speakers will include athletes NBA World Champion Shaun Livingston, Marcellus Sommerville, Jerry Hester and Jamere Jackson. Also included will be Grammy winning producer Tim Kelley, actress Teck Holmes and actor Teck Holmes. Other local speakers will include Bradley Director of Athletics Chris Reynolds, former Manual Academy boys basketball coach Derrick Booth and State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth.

Booth says the message to the youth is simple. “We all came from your same neighborhoods, your same area codes and zip codes,” Booth said. “If we can break through the glass ceiling and have a positive life you guys can do the same thing.”

“Kids in the community have just as much inside of them as these local heroes had and we just want to inspire them and let them know, you can do the same thing that these people do if you put your mind to it and believe in yourself,” Booth said.

The July 28 symposium is free to children age 13 through 19, but they must register. Registration is available at the Tri-County Urban League, 317 MacArthur Highway).

There will be gala July 29 at the Par-A-Dice Hotel ballroom. Tickets to that event are $55 each. Tickets to the gala can be purchased at the Tri-County Urban League, or online HERE.

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