On February 4 through 6, three of Shawano High School’s FAAR Club members attended the Teen Summit in Wisconsin Dells.
The three members from the club, Sophomore Emma Etten, Junior Audrey Naeyaert and Junior Rosa Oviedo went and stayed at Glacier Canyon Lodge over the three day period along with their advisor, Ms. Kandi Krueger.
“The event had about 600 students from across Wisconsin. There were students from outside Wisconsin as well,” said Ms. Krueger.
The event was to help and inform teens about what a healthy relationship looks like and to prevent abusive ones.
“A lot of people at Teen Summit have been victims of violence or some type of abuse,” Ms. Krueger explained. “They were really looking to build healthy teen relationships.”
“The three students that went are actually a part of the Teen Council which is a small part of what the Teen Council sets up as part of the Teen Summit,” Ms. Krueger said. “They made a choice from the FAAR Club that they wanted to attend it.”
The members also got to work in groups to discuss abusive relationships and how the victims can sometimes feel stuck in the relationship with other members.
“You get a lot of connections out of it,” Emma Etten stated. “I went to a presentation with acting, but they’re a new troop coming through and they have a new perspective on things.”
Throughout the course of the event, Teen Summit brought in two guest speakers to talk about abusive relationships, Beverly Gooden and Janaya Khan.
“They do a lot with leadership and especially with politics a little bit,” Ms. Krueger said. “It was a lot to take in.”
The Teen Council paid for all the expenses for the club, which included the hotel rooms and the conference.
“We are really fortunate to get scholarships and to be able to present,” Ms. Krueger stated.
The Teen Council is apart of the state which is where it gets its funding.
“Verizon gave [End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin] quite a bit of money directed towards teen dating violence awareness,” Ms. Krueger explained. “So that’s what Teen Council is- really working on teen dating violence awareness.”
All of the members that went really enjoyed the eye-opening experience that Teen Summit offered them and would happily attend the event again.
“It was very interesting and fun,” Naeyaert said. “Going to the Teen Council meetings to plan for Teen Summit really paid off, and I enjoyed seeing the end result.”
The members took away a lot from the event and learned more about abusive relationships and how it is not always easy for the victims to leave the relationships.
“I learned new information about abusive relationships that I didn’t know before. I learned from their perspective on why it was hard for them [the victims] and why they couldn’t leave even when everyone was telling them they had to,” Naeyaert said. “I learned how it truly affects everyone involved in their life and is more prevalent than most think.”
The FAAR Club will continue to raise awareness of abusive relationships through different events and activities.