Five hundred kids spoke out about issues in their neighborhoods at the Sierra Summit in east Bakersfield.

Organizer Danny Morrison says Friday’s event at Sierra Middle School was a way for attendees to boost their confidence and learn how to fix their problems by turning to adults for help. Kids also heard from motivational speakers and were taught how to stand up to bullies.

Morrison plans on holding more of these events this year. The summit is part of the How Long campaign to end gang violence and empower under privileged youth in Kern County.

Kelli Forsch