Hundreds of adults and high school students from across Iowa will be in Ames today to take part in the “Risky Business” conference.
The one-day summit focuses on developing skills and increasing knowledge of the critical issues confronting young Iowans and the professionals who work with them. Author Jean Kilbourne will be the keynote speaker for the adults.
“She’s been a pioneer in advertising and its effects on youth and women,” says conference coordinator Gerri Bugg. “Her new book is ‘So Sexy, So Soon’ and talks about how media impacts the way kids are growing up.”
This is the 25th annual “Risky Business” conference and Kilbourne also spoke at the event in 1993. The conference draws about 700 people with half of them being high school students. The keynote speaker for the youth, Brad Barton, is a magician and a prevention person with a message about teaching kids to recognize dangerous illusions. Bugg says there will be workshops particularly for the youth or the adults, along with others that are merged.
One topic the youth will address in the workshops is “sexting” and the dangers presented by emerging cell phone technology.
The conference runs today from 9 AM to 4 PM at the Scheman Center at Iowa State University. For more information, visit www.yss.org.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)