On March 17, 2016, more than 2,500 teen leaders from 157 cities and 5 countries convened in Dallas to address many issues facing America’s youth at the 49th Annual National Keystone Conference.  Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Aaron’s, Inc. hosted the National Keystone Conference encouraging teens to #OwnTheirFuture with Special Guest Speaker Black-ish Teen Actress Yara Shahidi.

The Keystone Conference, one of the largest youth leadership conferences in the U.S., was held at the Omni Dallas Hotel.  Special guest speaker and conference ambassador, award-winning actress 16-year old Yara Shahidi, who plays Zoey on the ABC show Black-ish focused on how teens can own their individual path in life by owning their decisions and taking ownership in their community by playing an active role to make an impact. Shahidi puts her words into action as a humanitarian and social activist,   volunteering at medical clinics and starting her own mentoring club.  She was also recently recognized by the N.A.A.C.P. for her commitment to service.

“I am excited to partner with Aaron’s and Boys & Girls Clubs of America for the annual Keystone Conference this year,” said Shahidi. “It’s essential for teens to know that we’re in this journey together and have resources readily available to help us own our futures and empower our communities.”

During this three-day experience, teens were immersed in an action-packed conference itinerary filled with development workshops, professional mentors, and inspiring role models who helped them to focus on creating their own great future.  The theme of the conference was “Year of the Teen” which helped teens gain a sense of hope and discover their inner power to make a difference in their lives, their Clubs and local communities.