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The College Foundation of West Virginia (CFWV) Youth Summit is held in conjunction with the annual Student Success Summit. The Youth Summit gives students across the state the chance to develop their leadership skills and make a difference in their communities.

Each year, schools are invited to submit proposals to send a team of eight students and one supervising faculty member (4 male students and 4 female students) to the Youth Summit. Six teams are typically selected to participate in this exciting event. As a result of the Summit, students will work together to create a stronger college-going culture throughout the state of West Virginia. Participating teams are charged with returning to their schools and communities to launch a local HEROs (Higher Education Readiness Officers) program.

Students who attend the Youth Summit will be given the opportunity to experience a professional conference while interacting and learning with other students from across the state of West Virginia. School teams will focus on developing their leadership and communication skills and on constructing plans to establish a HEROs group in their schools and communities. Students will share their work and their accomplishments during a plenary session at the 2018 Student Success Summit. During the session, Youth Summit participants will be recognized in front of the nearly 400 educators, administrators, policy makers, and community professionals who attend the Student Success Summit each year!

The HEROs initiative was first piloted in schools served by West Virginia GEAR UP, a federally funded college access program. The West Virginia HEROs model has been recognized nationally as a promising practice for engaging students in building a stronger college-going culture and strengthening community/school involvement.