GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds of teens came out to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College for the first ever Gulf Coast Youth Leadership Symposium on Saturday.
"The Youth Leadership Symposium was actually an idea that I had to bring some of the Coast's youth together to teach them some formal, and informal, leadership skills," said symposium creator, Jocelyn Lane.
Teens from all over the Gulf Coast had the opportunity to attend the free event, attending different sessions like public speaking and social justice.
"Today they're all going to go to different sessions that are focused on leadership, as well as they are going to meet different individuals from the community that we call bosses. So they'll be bosses in each session, and they'll be able to learn firsthand some leadership roles that are from some of their employees," said Lane.
Lane says she created the symposium to bring teenagers together on the Coast, and to teach them to thrive as leaders. Students who have been involved say they are benefiting.
"Each session has something that's gonna teach us or give us more pointers, tips, and strategies on how to improve on our lives. So for me, I think it's actually great to learn something that I may or may not know, and then take that knowledge and apply it to my life," said MGCCC Student, Khalil Marcum.
Organizers hope to hold a second teen leadership symposium next year. For information on how to volunteer, visit http://www.pinklotusproject.org/.