Essex County Prosecutor’s Office to host youth conference

CALDWELL, NJ — Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced Dec. 16 that the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office will host a youth conference for middle school children on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

Nearly 500 students in grades seven through nine from various schools in Essex County are expected to attend the “What’s It All About?” youth conference. The goal of the one-day gathering is to encourage youth to make positive choices to prevent violence. Students will also be introduced to educational and recreational resources in their communities.

This invitation-only youth conference will be held inside the Student Center at Caldwell University, located at 120 Bloomfield Ave. in Caldwell from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to the press release, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman will give special remarks to the students. Motivational speaker and gun violence survivor Hashim Garrett will inspire students to respect themselves and others to overcome challenges and reach their goals. More than 30 organizations, representing the fields of higher education, law enforcement, medicine, social services and recreation, will have information tables at the event. These representatives will provide students with information on youth programs and careers.

Interactive workshops on cyberbullying, teen dating violence, gang awareness, making positive choices, the effects of violence and nutrition will be provided to students. It is the ECPO’s vision that students will be inspired to become positive role models and peer leaders in their schools and communities.

Many of the students who will attend this event have been negatively affected by violence in their communities. Students from schools in Belleville, Bloomfield, East Orange, Orange and Newark are scheduled to attend.