The Brightside Project will host its first Youth Summit for teens in Columbiana County.

The event will be hosted in collaboration with Church United and Insight Clinical Counseling and Wellness, LLC. The summit will be held on April 13 from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. at the Kent State City Center located at 230 N. Lincoln Ave., Salem.

The event will be free and open to anyone 13 to 18 years old in Columbiana County. It will feature Markus McFolling, a next-generation motivational speaker, and will offer inspirational messages and sessions designed to give hope, build resilience, and help teens reach their full potential. 

The Youth Summit will take a faith-based approach to character development, personal values, healthy relationships, and mental health. Teens who attend will also be able to experience music, dodgeball, Nerf wars, creative sessions, and a snack bar. Lunch will be provided by Chick-fil-A.

"It's no secret that today's teens are facing a variety of challenges including peer pressure, bullying, substance abuse, social media, and so much more," Lisa Vittorio, Co-Director of The Brightside Project said. "They're struggling to keep their head above the water in a society that is drowning them with negative influence, unrealistic expectations, lack of support, poor guidance and straight up lies. The fallout is that our teenagers are in crisis so we are really excited to rally the community to uplift and encourage them for an entire day." 

Teens are invited to follow the Youth Summit on Instagram at youthsummit_ohio. Parents and guardians can register their teens for the free event at