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The Empire Promise Youth Summit: Don’t Just Survive, Thrive!

The nineteenth statewide Empire Promise Youth Summit: Don’t Just Survive, Thrive! will take place on April 26-28, 2023 in Albany, NY.  

This year’s event brings together 51 programs, 200 students, a host of Liberty Partnerships alumni, and key stakeholders from across NYS in an effort to strengthen workforce strategies and further our mission to graduate students fully prepared for college, work and life.

We are so excited to be back in person and plan to make the most of our time together!

March 11th, 2020 dramatically changed our collective world and human experience. Many can relate to the feeling of just trying to hold on and get through another day, of just surviving. 

“You became who you needed to be in order to survive.  Now, it’s time to become who you need to be in order to thrive,”

Emerging research from the pandemic reflects what we are experiencing in our schools; increased absenteeism, growing mental health concerns, unfinished learning and lost learning of critical social and emotional skills due to isolation. 

This year’s event promises to tackle the soft skills lost during the pandemic, and that workforce leaders are looking for. According to the “State of Skills 2021: Endangered” report the demand for social skills is going to skyrocket in the coming years. Diminishing skill sets such as problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, adaptability and creativity, and leadership are sorely missing in the emerging workforce. What better way to emerge thriving in these key areas than through a classic game of challenge and survival? 

Think it’s all just play?

Jal Mehta, Education Week, captured the importance of play for high school students and how it relates to employment in his article “All Work, No Play: Why High School Students Should Have Fun.”  Mehta prominently displays “play” as an important dimension of professional work, helping individuals think creatively, tackle complex problems, innovate, and ask important questions like “What would happen if?” 

Theorists have long argued that knowledge is constructed through actions and experience, that people learn fundamentals through play, and that playful practices are often the foundation upon which formal structures of education should be built. 

Let’s make space for play!

This year’s Empire Promise Youth Summit will encourage students to engage in play while challenging them to step outside of their comfort zones.  Separated into tribes and placed with people they do not know, they will compete in challenges to see which tribe will outwit, outplay and outlast.

Check back next month to see photos and updates from this event!