2024 Youth Service Leadership Summit Recap

The Ryan Nece Foundation, Community Tampa Bay, and Frameworks of Tampa Bay recently came together to co-host the 4th Annual Youth Service Leadership Summit, which was generously presented by Suncoast Credit Union. On the morning of Friday, February 16, 2024, 139 students from across Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Hernando counties came together to serve at 12 different nonprofit service locations. These included organizations Summit students have served before, like Humane Society of Tampa Bay and the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association, as well as some new locations, like Mercy Full Project and Clothes To Kids. By the time students arrived, they were energized, chatting with siblings, volunteer site coordinate, and friends – new and old.

“My biggest takeaway from this event is seeing the different organizations available to volunteer with that actually impact the community in a positive way.” – Malia Kirschman, 2024 Summit Student

Next, the students met at University of Tampa, chatted over lunch, and kicked off the Summit with remarks from Ryan Nece Foundation and University of Tampa. Then, the program was turned over to Frameworks of Tampa Bay for a breathing exercise. Next, Community Tampa Bay walked the students through a morning service debrief, engaging students in conversations around the volunteer projects they were able to accomplish in the morning.

“My number one takeaway from the Summit was the importance of service and helping others. I plan to increase the number of service hours I complete to help others.” – Fiona Smith

Next, Dr. Nekeshia Hammond moderated a panel of local leaders (Elizabeth Fowler, Bob Hyde, LaKendria Robinson, Stephen Thomas) who believe in giving back to their communities. They spoke with the students about finding an organization which aligns with their beliefs and always finding time to serve.

“The panel was interesting, and I liked the questions that were asked.” – Hayley Abu-Asav

Students were then broken into groups of approximately 20 to accompany student guides on a University of Tampa tour.

“I want to go to UT now it’s so pretty 😍” – Zoe Fuchs

After a quick popcorn break, the students engaged in an interactive financial literacy session with Suncoast Credit Union titled, “The 8 Steps To Financial Success.”

“I learned some new information that I plan to use in my future when I get a job.” – Austin Malley

The last activity engaged students in a discussion around different causes and passion areas. It challenged students to align based on what they think, care, and know about the most and the least. Students were very vocal and passionate with this activity, and it provided a lot of opportunity for learning and discussion.

“One takeaway I have taken from this experience is that not everyone will agree with what someone has to say but at the end we all have to understand where the person is coming from.” – Frangie Arocho

It was a great day! One last piece of feedback from a Summit student:

“At the Youth Leadership Summit, I had the incredible opportunity to collaborate with other young leaders and learn from my peers. It was an inspiring experience to come together and share our ideas, insights, and experiences. Through group discussions, workshops, and interactive sessions, we explored various topics such as leadership, teamwork, and making a positive impact in our communities. One of the key takeaways for me was the importance of listening to different perspectives and embracing diversity. I learned that by working together and valuing each other’s contributions, we can create meaningful change and make a difference in the world. It was truly a transformative experience that has motivated me to continue growing as a leader and make a positive impact in my own way.” – Avneet Kaur


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