Haven Newberry Leadership Conference coming to Newberry

Jan. 23—NEWBERRY — Haven Newberry is bringing something new to the City of Newberry with the Haven Newberry Leadership Conference. This conference is giving 25 middle schoolers and 25 high schoolers a chance to develop and grow.

"The idea generated from being from Newberry, we (Haven Newberry leadership team) always want to give these kids something they aren't familiar with or something that's not normal to them. Our mission is to give kids a safe space to be themselves and develop a perfect relationship," said Amir Cromer of Haven Newberry.

The idea is to empower excellence within Newberry County youth, according to Cromer.

"We really want to put 25 middle schoolers and 25 high schoolers in front of people they normally wouldn't be in front of. They can gain knowledge and wisdom; our mindset is if one kid can leave with one piece of knowledge they didn't have before, that is our goal," he said. "Knowledge enhances opportunity, that is one of the main driving forces behind this conference, give knowledge they wouldn't normally get being here in Newberry."

The conference will be free to all students and lunch will be provided. It will take place in the Newberry College Teacher Education Building (on Speers Street).

According to Cromer, there will be a multitude of speakers during the conference.

"Dr. John Lesaine (Newberry College) and Jackie Holmes (City of Newberry councilperson) are teaming up together and presenting. Their topic is separating business from pleasure and what does that look like," Cromer said.

Other speakers will include Newberry High School Assistant Principal Cornelius Cromer, speaking on professionalism, professional dress, social skills and interview skills; Larry Kinard on financial literacy and Cromer, Darius York and Jarious Singley will speak on new age leadership.

To help Newberry Haven make this conference successful, they have a few community partners, Newberry Arts for All (Newberry Opera House), Westview Behavioral Center and Newberry College Muller Center.

The conference, which will take place on Saturday, March 18 from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., is open now for sign ups and is first come, first served. Anyone can sign up by using the QR code found on Haven Newberry's social media accounts or reach out via Haven Newberry on Facebook.

The conference is open to middle or high school students in Newberry County only.

"We really want to emphasize the importance of the youth in Newberry investing in themselves; we are putting this on for the kids in the community, no one else. Things like this don't happen in Newberry for free, we want to bring things that aren't normally here," Cromer said.

If anyone is interested in sponsoring, helping or speaking, Cromer said they plan on making this an annual conference in Newberry. For more information, or to learn how you can help, you can contact Cromer at amircromer@gmail.com or Darius York at dstephensyork@gmail.com.

Reach Andrew Wigger @ 803-768-3122 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.