Hope Youth Conference ‘equips’ kids for their future

By Alyssa Donovan

June 22, 2013 Updated Jun 24, 2013 at 11:27 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Local children and teenagers are working together to restore Hope this weekend.

Dozens are attending this year's 'Hope Renewed Youth Conference' at the Peoria RiverPlex.

Workshops are being held on peer pressure, gang violence and college preparation.

The theme this year is 'equipped,’ as in giving kids the tools they need to build a brighter future.

Saturday's main event was the town hall meeting.

A panel of community and civil rights leaders, including WEEK-TV's Garry Moore, shared stories of overcoming personal struggles as teens.

Hope Renewed Youth Conference President Sherry Cannon said, "Our goal today is for them to hear from people that look like them and can tell them about their history. I think if you don't know your history then you don't always appreciate the things you take for granted. "

The conference will conclude Sunday night with music and step-dance performances at Illinois Central College's Performing Arts Center.

The concert starts 5 PM and is free to the public.