For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development

Parkway Central to Host Award-Winning Poet Sonia Sanchez During 11th Annual Youth Empowerment Summit, Believe. Belong. Become.

Parkway Central to Host Award-Winning Poet Sonia Sanchez During 11th Annual Youth Empowerment Summit, Believe. Belong. Become.

What: Youth Empowerment Summit, an annual all-day event planned for—and by—teens.

Who: Siobhan A. Reardon, Free Library of Philadelphia President and Director
Sonia Sanchez, keynote speaker and poet
Hundreds of local high-school students
Representatives from more than 25 area businesses and organizations

Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Keynote presentation by Sonia Sanchez at 9:45 a.m. [program runs from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.]

Where: Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street

On Wednesday, May 19, the Parkway Central Library will open its doors to several hundred area high-school students for the Youth Empowerment Summit, an annual program planned for—and by—teens. An all-day event featuring keynote speaker Sonia Sanchez, workshops, and an information fair, this year’s programming will focus on the theme of Believe. Belong. Become. and encourage teens to explore their leadership potential and ability to make a positive change in their communities.

The Youth Empowerment Summit will kick off with breakfast, followed by a keynote presentation by poet, activist, and educator Sonia Sanchez. Called a 'lion in literature's forest' by Maya Angelou, Sanchez has written more than a dozen books of poetry, including the American Book Award-winner Homegirls and Handgrenades. Using black dialect as a poetic medium, Sanchez writes elegantly on topics like bigotry, poverty, and drug abuse and has won numerous awards for her work.

This year’s workshops include relevant topics such as “High School to College Transition” led by current college students; “Urban Art” led by Books Aloud! Specialist Carla Wiley; and “Brave New Voices” led by Greg Corbin, as well as several workshops on financial aid and college admissions testing. The event also features an Information Fair with participants including various colleges, City Year, the United States Army and Navy, the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, Free Library Volunteer Services, Job Corps, ACE Mentoring Program, and more.

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The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. With more than 6 million visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely-used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850