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Tucson J youth experts to lead workshop at conference

Two members of the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s department of children, youth and family engagement will lead a workshop on “active listening” at “Adolescence to Independence,” a conference on empowering youth sponsored by Arizona’s Children Association, which will be held at the Tucson J on Friday, May 6.

Scott Zorn, director of children, youth and family engagement, and Oren Riback, assistant director of children, youth and camping services and BBYO city director, will lead the “I Hear You” workshop.

“People feel good when they are able to create, be involved and feel productive,” says Zorn. “I believe it is very important for young people to have opportunities where they can learn, express ideas and take action in areas where they can succeed and feel accomplished.”

The conference, aimed at professionals who work with youth, will feature keynote speakers Maryann Judkins, Ed.D., on “The Adolescent Brain in Transition” and Naketa Ross on “Recognizing Your Resilience.”

Judkins, a former junior high science and math teacher, has worked at the University of Arizona College of Education on three federal grants focused on improving school climates. Ross, a social worker for almost a decade, is the founder and executive director of ResilientMe, a research-based curriculum to better prepare youth to successfully transition out of foster care and into adulthood.

Along with other workshops, including “Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll,” “What Are Those Teens Thinking? Implications from Neuroscience” and “LGBTQ Equity and Inclusion,” the conference will include a panel discussion with young adults.

Lori Riegel, MJEd, will lead a session on “Educational Pathways (Removing Barriers to Higher Education). Riegel, Arizona’s Children Association director of development for Southern Arizona, is  a former AJP staff member.

The conference will run from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information and to register, visit EmpoweringYouthConference.org.

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