The first Schuylkill County Youth Summit will convene Thursday, March 21, at the county courthouse for a day centered on a panel of community leaders listening to the students' opinions on how to make the county an even better place for them to live, work, play, and raise their families.

This is a project envisioned by Commissioner Gary Hess and received endorsement and support from his fellow commissioners, Frank Staudenmeier and George Halcovage.

Students from all county public, Catholic, charter, and vocational technical schools plus county students who attend Marian High School, will participate. Six students from each school will make up the student panel.

They met with the commissioners and others last summer to begin the planning process. Hess reported major stakeholders from business, government, education, and community based organizations have also helped plan the summit and worked with the youth as mentors and supporters.

There will be morning and afternoon sessions.

The morning session will deal with the findings of a survey that all students of the schools participating was taken. The selected students will interact with the community leaders in discussing their thoughts and opinions about how to make the county an even better place for them to live.

The afternoon session will concentrate on empowering the students to become actively involved in making real change for the future.