Overcoming Mountains in the HSYAT Teen Summit’s Workshops

The High School Youth Action Team (HSYAT) hosted the City of Irvine’s 26th Annual Teen Summit. High school students attended workshops and received advice from teachers and alumni.

March 12, 2020


The HSYAT Representatives pose during the 26th Annual HSYAT Teen Summit. (Photo courtesy of HSYAT’s Instagram)

IRVINE – On Saturday, March 7th, 2020, the High School Youth Action Team (HSYAT) hosted the City of Irvine’s 26th Annual Teen Summit conference at the Lakeview Senior Center from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.


The HSYAT club is a high school program that engages students in leadership roles, encourages participation in community service and creates social-recreational activities for students to join. The HSYAT club has over 300 local volunteer opportunities a year and offers the Presidential Volunteer Service Award to outstanding volunteers.


“I enjoy volunteering in my community and wanted to find a way to do it more often, [so the HSYAT club] was the perfect club due to its high range of projects, and I really enjoy the community I found within the club,” said senior Lindsey Marshall, one of the HSYAT Representatives for Beckman High School. “[The HSYAT Teen Summit] is a student-organized workshop with free breakfast and lots of prizes. High school students can learn about financial [literacy] and how to build self-resilience. It’s a good experience because students can learn new things and expand their horizons.”


With the help of the City of Irvine, the HSYAT organized the Teen Summit, a student-organized workshop that invites high school students to learn from several workshops pertaining to financial literacy, personal branding and more. It gives students the opportunity to network and to receive practical life skills.


“This is my first year [going] to a Teen Summit,” said junior Phuong “Vanessa” Hoang. “ I [would] definitely go again since being there and listening to all the amazing speakers inspires me so much. Each speaker had their own different way to present and interact with us, but all of them [were] really helpful and nice. Not only [did we gain] knowledge without paying anything since it’s open to all high school students, we also had free all-you-can-eat breakfast and free Yogurtland and many more prizes.”


Featured and elective workshops were held during the HSYAT Teen Summit for the high school attendees. Featured workshops included “Getting Through Hardships” with Beckman’s Mr. Phillip Chow and “Being Brave & Risk Taking” with Woodbridge High School’s Ms. Jessica Bracken. Elective workshops included “Self Resilience” with Portola High School’s Ms. Jill Cavotta, “Personal Branding” with Woodbridge alumni Jess Lesser, “Defining Leadership” with Woodbridge alumni Tony Kam and “Tai-Chi” with Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi. Pancake breakfast by the Kiwanis Club of Irvine and a Yogurtland raffle were also provided for the attendees.


The workshops were engaging and informative, and Mr. Chow’s workshop was well received by the attendees. “His energy and honesty spoke volumes and reached across even to the students outside of Beckman High School, and the vulnerability he expressed allowed students to learn from his own experiences and put things into perspective, thus putting us in a position of gratefulness, perseverance, and respect,” said junior Mariam Mahmoud.


High school students attend one of the workshops provided during the HSYAT Teen Summit. (Photo courtesy of HSYAT’s Instagram)

There was also a college panel at the beginning of the HSYAT Teen Summit where six college students shared their personal stories and experiences with high school and colleges. They provided their own insights on personal conflicts and provided advice with college.


Two employees from different branches of the JP and Morgan Chase Bank held a financial literacy workshop where they opened a forum for questions and taught how to manage financial responsibilities in the future.


The Teen Summit provided many opportunities for students to enrich their knowledge outside of class.“[If I could describe the HSYAT Teen Summit with one word, it would be] enjoyable because you can learn different things other than school topics,” said junior Lailah Valenzuela. “I learned a lot of things that I didn’t before like how to manage or make a checking account. The presenters made the Teen Summit a memorable experience because I got inspired and learned about their workshops, especially the financial literacy. I would encourage other students to go to next year’s Teen Summit because they could learn new things or get inspired by the presenters.”


Next year, HSYAT is planning on holding its 27th Annual Teen Summit with the City of Irvine in order to further educate students through a variety of teen-related workshops.


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