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2024 Carolinas Youth Mentoring Symposium

Get ready for the 2024 Carolinas Youth Mentoring Symposium! Youth and adults from across the Carolinas will convene at the Durham Convention Center to explore the theme Building Relationships Through Collaboration and Play.

Explore scenes from the 2023 Carolinas Youth Mentoring Symposium!
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For children and adults alike, play illuminates the path toward social competency. But in a world filled with challenges that are more conducive to physical, social, and emotional harm than playfulness, play can feel like a waste of time. However, in the context of mentoring, joyful experiences enhance mental wellness and foster stronger youth-adult partnerships that can inspire a greater connection to the values and goals that make our lives meaningful.

In Building Relationships Through Collaboration and Play, the 2024 Carolinas Youth Mentoring Symposium will explore how the power of play can be leveraged to strengthen adult-youth mentoring relationships, foster cooperative group dynamics across youth-serving organizations, and form bridges that transcend differences, laying a solid foundation to foster optimism and hope for addressing some of society’s most pressing issues.


9:00 am - 9:10 am Coffee, Conversations, and Welcome

9:10 am – 10:00 am Opening Panel | Collaboration Over Competition: Building and Sustaining Effective Partnerships

10:15 am – 11:30 am Concurrent Sessions | Practitioner & Youth Tracks

11:45 am – 1:00 pm Lunch | Outstanding Youth Leaders of the Year Scholarship Awards Ceremony

1:15 pm – 2:30 pm Concurrent Sessions | Practitioner & Youth Tracks | Relationship Building, Games, and Fun

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm Closing Keynote | Gordon Bellamy

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm Conference Wrap-Up & Next Steps



USC Professor and Game Designer for Madden NFL Football

Gordon is a Professor of the Practice of Cinematic Arts, Interactive Media & Games at USC, helping to cultivate the next generation of leaders in our craft. He has played key business and product leadership roles at Tencent, Electronic Arts, as a designer on Madden NFL Football, and MTV, and consulted for numerous companies in the industry.

He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 at GDC and was featured on Nickelodeon for Black History Month for his 25 years of contributions to game industry and culture.

Gordon serves as the president / CEO of the Gay Gaming Professionals and on the Board of Directors of TheWaveVR and has served as Executive Director of both the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and the International Game Developers Association. He is a graduate of Harvard College with a BA in Engineering, and resides with his husband Joe Heally, and their dog, Colby Janet, in Los Angeles, California.



The mission of the Ciara Arts and Science Foundation is to identify underprivileged youth who would like to develop talents in the arts or academia. The Foundation provides scholarships/grants to these children alongside organizations with similar missions. The Foundation funds awareness efforts to encourage minority communities to participate in these vital youth programs.

Ciara Arts and Science Foundation logo


Outstanding Youth Leaders of the Year Scholarship

The Outstanding Youth Leaders of the Year Scholarship is made possible through a partnership with the Ciara Arts & Science Foundation. The half-tuition, needs-based, renewable scholarship will be awarded to three prospective college students during programming at our Carolinas Youth Mentoring Symposium.

Click the link to learn more!


2022 Carolinas Youth Mentoring Symposium

Interested in what a Symposium with YMC looks like? Check out details from last year's conference at The Friday Center in Chapel Hill, NC.


Healing-Centered Mentoring™ Fellowship Program

YMC's inaugural Healing-Centered Mentoring™ Fellowship Program has launched with nine leaders from North & South Carolina.

Justice Blog Post

From the YMC blog: June Highlights and Resources

Summer's here! Check out our June blog for an op-ed by our youth board member, plus ideas for supporting LGBTQ+ youth and youth graduating from high school.