Bainbridge Healthy Youth Summit returns to BHS next week

Local leaders, parents, youth and community members will gather next week at Bainbridge High for the second Bainbridge Healthy Youth Summit.

Local leaders, parents, youth and community members will gather next week at Bainbridge High for the second Bainbridge Healthy Youth Summit.

Organizers note that Bainbridge Island youth have some of Washington state’s highest academic achievement scores, but recent survey data on student behavioral patterns and social attitudes shows that closer attention needs to be paid to the well-being of island youth from pre-school through high school.

The next summit will build on the progress made during the first summit in early November.

Nearly 200 parents, educators, youth-serving professionals and community members came out for the first summit, and the group generated questions that were synthesized into three main topics that will become the cornerstone of conversation in the upcoming summit.

“I was encouraged by people’s willingness to shift the conversation — from fixing deficits in young people to focusing on how we build their strengths,” said Marilyn Price-Mitchell, the keynote speaker for the first summit and a developmental psychologist and researcher in the field of positive youth development and youth civic engagement.

“I believe there is genuine enthusiasm brewing — between parents, schools and community leaders — to dig more deeply into what matters for island youth,” she said.

The Bainbridge Island Youth Summit is a partnership between Bainbridge Youth Services, Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island, Raising Resilience and Bainbridge Island School District, and was launched to promote healthy, thriving Bainbridge youth.

Funding has been provided by all of the partner organizations as well as the Bainbridge Community Foundation.

The second summit will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 11 in the commons at BHS. It will be co-led by Price-Mitchell and Doug Nathan, a professional facilitator.

Parents, Bainbridge Island youth, educators, community leaders and everyone concerned about the well-being of youth are welcome to attend.

“I guarantee a fun and engaging event, where every teen and adult will have the opportunity for their ideas to be heard,” said Cezanne Allen, chairwoman of Raising Resilience Board.

“You will leave inspired by the vision of the future we will create together as a community,” she said.

To see highlights of the first summit, community members are invited to watch the keynote from Summit 1 and/or explore the Internal Compass model. Additional information and online registration can be found on the Bainbridge Healthy Youth Summit website at

Registration and participation are free thanks to donations from community organizations and individuals.

Following the second summit, the third summit is scheduled for March 15 and will move to an action-planning process, where people will be invited to work on community generated projects that spark their passion, take leadership roles, network with one another, form partnerships and become involved in new and collaborative ways to support youth.

“We see a common vision emerging after the January summit,” said Marina Cofer-Wildsmith of Bainbridge Youth Services. “This vision will be one that the community has created together and therefore embraces.”

“And, by the end of the third summit, we expect to have a group of inspired and motivated citizens ready to implement action steps to make Bainbridge a healthier place for kids to grow and thrive,” she said.