Teen Summit is a biennial week-long Youth Leadership event that brings Clubhouse youth together from each of the 100 Clubhouses internationally. Youth leaders explore and propose solutions to social issues through the creative use of innovative, high-end technologies. Each Teen Summit takes place on a university campus in Boston, Massachusetts, and includes a college and career fair, collaborative cross-cultural activities, and many other opportunities for educational, career and personal growth.
Approximately 250 youth leaders plus adult staff and chaperones from various community-based organizations, colleges and sponsoring partners attend Teen Summit every other year. At Teen Summit, the youth leaders participate in a variety of workshops, projects, and teambuilding activities designed to both build technological skills and foster international connections. The youth also learn and grow through their participation in “tracks", designed for the youth to address social issues through creativity and technology. During the week, they create collaborative projects that focus on a specific content area, such as animation, web design, robotics, 3D modeling, and/or video creation and a social issue such as education access, health disparities or gender equity. The goals of the tracks are to:
- build technological skills and awareness
- strengthen leadership and teamwork skills
- foster a sense of positive social action
- increase a sense of self-efficacy
Teen Summit is a vibrant opportunity that provides many firsts for the teens. Often it is the first time they are leaving their neighborhood, getting on a plane, or staying on a college campus. At Teen Summit, Computer Clubhouse youth leaders not only build hands-on fluency in technology, but also become self-motivated, confident learners through collaborative experiences that spark their interests, expand life skills, and inspire them to become global citizens. Teen Summit seeks to expose youth to new tools and apply these skills to educational and career-related paths; build leadership, communication, and teamwork skills; and build camaraderie among international youth while fostering an appreciation for different cultures.
"What I liked best about Teen Summit was meeting different people and learning about their cultures. It's amazing how diversity is shown not only through art pieces and technology, but also in the human race. It's unbelievable seeing how unique we all are as individuals."2012 Teen Summit participant
After Teen Summit 2012, 100% of the adult staff and 91% of the youth leaders believed that Teen Summit improved their cultural and racial understanding of others, while 96% of adult staff and 91% of youth leaders believed that Teen Summit created a safe, creative space to learn and share. Both the adult staff and the youth believed that the most important part of Teen Summit was meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. Today, 82% of Clubhouse Alumni say they are currently using the tools and technologies they learned at the Clubhouse professionally and/or personally.
Teen Summit is not possible without the contributions and support of many sponsors. Over the past ten years, many organizations and individuals have helped bring our international youth together, including: The Intel Foundation, Best Buy, Adobe Systems, Autodesk, MIT Media Lab, The Equal Footing Foundation, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, The Museum of Science, Boston, The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and The New Zealand Computer Clubhouse Trust.