Twelve high school students have met every week for the past six months under the guidance of Drug Free Communities senior grant manager Stephanie Stephenson to hone their leadership skills and plan an event that would create positive alternatives for their teenage peers. “The event is unique in the fact that, to my knowledge, (it) has not been attempted in Porter County,” Stephenson said. The festival is from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 Division Road. There is no entrance fee and there is a host of activities, featuring live bands the Code Names, TT3, and Frontline Foundation’s The Salt Exchange to perform throughout the night. DJ Nick Hensell will appear along with a host of guest artists that will lead attendees in the Paint the Bus activity, community art and jewelry creation with Elise Sweeney. There will be obstacle courses, mini golf, bags, henna designs, magic photo booth and fitness and yoga sessions with Dana Skrodski of Empower You Whole Health. Presentations between sets will include author Herb Stepherson, Amber Chaffer, coroner Chuck Harris and the Portage K-9 unit.

“This is a unique opportunity to commit resources to produce an event for the youth by the youth,” said Partners for Success senior grant manager Patti Lembcke.” The Porter County Substance Abuse Council has extensive training at the national, state and local level in the area of prevention and we are tapping into relatively new therapeutic modes of psychological and emotional expression that involve introducing music and art as an outlet for positive communication and affirmation.

For more information about the youth festival for teens call 219-462-0946 or sstephenson@portercountysac.org.

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