By Pat Toddy

CAMDEN COUNTY, NJ (CBS) — Teenagers get proof that they’re valued by community leaders, law enforcement officials, and lawmakers in Camden County.

They helped host an event dedicated to high school students, called the “S.U.R.E Summit,” SURE standing for Students United for Respect and Equity.

Turnout for the program held at Camden County College more than tripled this year.

Bullying was a top concern at the summit, and an emotional one for a workshop instructor who opened up about her disturbing experience.

She said she had been bullied “all through high school to the point that I didn’t even go to my graduation, my prom, or anything.” She hopes that her story would help today’s teenagers, who are often bullied online.

The more than 400 students attending the event also learned “how to write their words down instead of expressing them out loud, and leadership through the arts. They’re learning how to paint a mural to express their focus and intention,” said Rosy Arroyo of Community Planning and Advocacy Council.

She has been working on the summit since last September. She’s committed to giving teenagers the tools necessary for success.

Kaylah Walker will definitely be able to use the leadership skills she picked up in this program as she pursues a teaching career. The senior also found the event helped students break down barriers.

“It’s bringing all the kids together, so you get to see people of all different walks of life and be able to talk to each other, and it really helps,” Walker said.

High schoolers also had the chance to tour the college, register to vote, and sign up to intern for NJ Congressman Donald Norcross.

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