DOLTON, Ill. (June 28, 2023) – During the inaugural Thornton Township Youth Summit on Saturday, June 24, an estimated 70 students within Thornton Township received scholarships.
Thornton Township Supervisor Tiffany Henyard hosted the event at Royal Estates located at 1515 East 154th Street in Dolton. The theme of the summit was mental health, and the event was open to township youth and their families.
Henyard awarded students with scholarships, ranging from $500 to $2,500. The scholarship application was open to youth, ages 16 to 24, who are residents of Thornton Township. The scholarship awards were eligible to be used for accredited summer camps, STEM programs, trade schools, and college expenses.
Henyard encouraged the those in attendance to invest in youth.
“We’re going to show them what they can be and what they will be because somebody has to take a chance on the youth and it starts here,” said Henyard.
Henyard has been an advocate of mental health, especially for the youth, during her time as supervisor.
She hosted a mental health tour across schools within the township featuring dancer and rapper iAmDLOW and held Township Talks with educators and law enforcement about the subject.
Ahead of the April 4, 2023 election, Henyard encouraged residents to vote “yes” for a referendum question that would raise taxes to help fund community mental health facilities and services, including facilities and services for people with a developmental disabilities or substance use disorders. The referendum was voted down by a majority of township residents.
The second half of the youth summit featured entertainers from Chicago including rapper and actor CT Marsmillow, comedian Brandon “Hot Sauce” Glover, artis Tunchi, musical artist and entertainer Korporate, musical artist Ye$haYahu, comedian SkinBone, rapper 147 Calboy, rapper Tink and rapper G Herbo.
G Herbo and Tink shared their view on mental health and overcoming obstacles with Henyard and those in attendance.
“I definitely think seeking professional health, whether it’s therapy or counseling, is always the better route, because it’s not just a matter of talking to somebody. It’s getting to know yourself and being in tune with your feelings and emotions that you endure on the everyday to day basis,” said G Herbo.
Rapper G-Herbo launched “Swervin’ Through Stress: Tools to Help Black Youth Navigate Mental Wellness” in 2020. According to its website, the mental health program aims to de-stigmatize conversations around mental wellness among African American men by introducing and educating at an early age, as well as providing access to resources, tools, and coping mechanisms to combat the long term effects of undiagnosed mental health both at the personal and community levels.
Rapper Tink, a former Calumet City native, encouraged the audience to stay dedicated and focused on their goals.
“The biggest part about this is just being consistent. In whatever you want to do in life, be consistent with it,” said Tink.
Upcoming township events
- Township Talk – Every fourth Wednesday of the month, 5 – 7 p.m., 333 E 162nd Street, South Holland
- Big Bingo – Every third Thursday of the month, 4 p.m., 14312 Greenwood Road, Dolton
- Senior Edge Educational Series – Every fourth Thursday of the month, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., 333 E. 162nd Street, South Holland
- Days in the Park – Various dates and locations
More information and event registration can be found on the Thornton Township website.
- Thornton Township starts mental health tour for youth (May 11, 2023)
- Mental health referendum question to appear on ballots in Thornton Township (January 13, 2023)
- Local mayors recommend ‘no’ vote on Thornton Township mental health referendum (March 20, 2023)
- Lansing election results – reported April 4, 2023 (April 4, 2023)