Sanctuary, Inc. hosted its first Teen Summit event July 21 at the Hopkinsville-Christian County Boys and Girls Club. Over 50 teens were educated about teen dating violence, healthy relationships, bullying, sexual assault, consent, self-esteem and self-care. Sanctuary advocates organized the day to include educational sessions in the morning and interactive arts sessions in the afternoon. During the second half of the day, teens participated in logo design, Cricut creations, hip-hop cardio and music production.

Youth enjoyed lunch from Little Caesars pizza provided by Living Waters Ministries, and snacks donated by area youth service center coordinator Shawna Johnson. After lunch, the teens participated in a Teen Talk panel discussing topics ranging from school safety to vaping and other issues facing their generation. The discussion was facilitated by victims advocate and educator Kenyata Simmons along with five youth ambassadors who served on the panel.

Rounding out the eight-hour summit, the teens participated in a candy run, where they were split up in teams to review everything they learned throughout the day. With each correct answer, a runner from each team had seconds to run and grab as much candy as they could hold from the center of the gym. Each team then split up the candy at the end.

Reviews from attendees who participated in the post-summit Survey Monkey said they liked how “engaging” Teen Summit was; “everything was nicely made and I had a great time;” and “I liked how I would speak about different topics and not be judged.”

Plans for the next Teen Summit in 2024 are already underway. If you would like to participate as a volunteer or sponsor, please email To read more reviews from the Survey Monkey, click here.