Plenty of booths filled with activities, a bouncy house obstacle course and a few food trucks was the sight attendees saw while at this year’s Long Beach Youth Festival.
The event was held on Sept. 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Billie Jean King Library and was filled with resources for the youth and families to learn about.
The booths were heavily focused on STEM along with other outreach programs for those who are in need or people without housing.
Attendees aged 10 to 24 were able to get a goodie bag which had flyers, a free meal and dessert ticket as well as the choice of either a t-shirt or a journal. There was a stage in which local performers were singing and reciting poetry as well as making announcements to the crowd.
“Essentially this is a part of the youth strategic plan, which was created through our youth ambassadorship which occurred in 2019,” said Alexa King, an Office of Youth Development intern. “Our youth strategic plan has created the Office of Youth Development to put on events like this and also to provide resources for youth in Long Beach.”
Some of the activities that booths included jeopardy style trivia in which youth would win prizes for answering correct questions, a section where kids could essentially make their own block of the city using building blocks with other materials provided and making dream boards to help the youth to try and see what they are into and strive for in their futures.
“We have a lot of homeless youth and they don’t know how to connect to services. They’re scared to ask for help so we come to them and say this is what we have to offer you,” said Cheryl Gulley, the program director at The Good Seed in Long Beach.
The Good Seed is a drop in center for youth ages 16 to 25 which provides meals, laundry services and other activities for them to do during the day.
Young attendees were encouraged to visit all the booths to fill out a bingo sheet which would enter them into a raffle for some goodies the organizations had provided. The event was a great way for organizations to network with one another as well as inspire the youth to grow and try new things.
“We’re able to give more information to young adults who are in need of working or getting more involved with the city,”said David Eivyerucava, a core member at the Conservation Corps of Long Beach. “This helps get the youth involved in our cities and neighboring cities and get more of an idea of what they would want to do in the future.”
The Conservation Corps helps young adults ages 18 to 26 with job training and partner with different cities and businesses to help youth get a better understanding of how bigger organizations work.