Understanding Backstories


Effective Interventions


 FIU-Wolf University Center 

3000 Northeast 151st Street, North Miami Beach, FL, 33181


Symposium information

  • What: 2019 Saving Our Youth Symposium: The Saving our Youth Symposium (SOYS) is U-turn Youth Consulting’s Annual Professional Development Conference.  This year’s theme is Understanding Backstories = Effective Interventions: Backstories are important elements for all stakeholders serving youth to consider and understand if they are to implement impactful interventions. As providers we have become obsessed with solving the problem in the present versus trying to understand the origin or pathology of the problem. This year’s conference will expose participants to the most prevalent backstories that serve as risk factors leading to youth violence. This year’s speakers are a diverse group of practitioners in their respective fields who will bring vast knowledge and effective skill sets to help participants circumvent and mitigate urban youth conflict by implementing substantive, socially, and culturally appropriate interventions. All presenters will present modern and aggressive approaches and interventions to meet and address the needs of our most vulnerable clients…our youth. This symposium will engage our professional audience, accelerate much needed dialogues, and most importantly provide tools and resources that can be utilized to facilitate impactful and lasting change.

  • Who: The primary target population for this conference are social service providers, educators, law enforcement officials (including lawyers and judges), healthcare providers, faith leaders, parents, college students majoring in Criminal Justice, Psychology, Social Work, Nursing, and Public Health are all invited to attend. Participants will benefit from the unfiltered truths that will be discussed throughout the conference. The symposium targets people who work with, want to work with, or are invested in urban at-risk youth ages 7-22 years old. Many professionals who work with urban at-risk youth do not know or understand the extent of the harsh reality these children/youth are living, which ultimately makes their programs, services, and interactions with the youth, and ultimately unrelatable.

  • Why:  As a nation we continue to throw money at the urban youth violence epidemic and continue to do the same things expecting different results, but our return on investment has not proven worth the initial investment. This conference aims to promote a paradigm shift of how we serve our youth; moving away from a sympathetic to an empathetic approach.





Professor Rudy Jean-Bart,​

Assistant Professor,

Broward College South Campus

Chief Executive Officer,

DIBIA Athletic & Founder of Dibia DREAM

Chief Executive Officer,

Baton Youth Services

Executive Officer,

Power U Center for Social Change

Chief Executive Officer, Project Men

2x Author & 

Founder of Barbershop Speaks

Chief Programs Officer,

Catalyst Miami


Dr. Alexandra Ivanovitch

Founder, Equality Lab

Matthew Jean

Therapist, Beach Stone Counseling



Special Agent,

Department of Homeland Security

Vanessa Joseph, Esq.

Attorney, Catholic Legal Services

Dr. Guerda Nicolas

Chair, UM Dept. of Education & Psychological Studies

Dr. Mercidieu Philips

Chief Executive Officer,

Level Up Partners Coaching and Consulting Inc.

Nancy Metayer

Environmental Activist,

New Florida Majority

© 2019 by ​U-Turn Youth Consulting, LLC.

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