Youth Against Homelessness
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9th Annual Visions of Change Youth Summit

The 9th Annual Visions of Change Youth Summit will be held on Friday November 8th at UNUM, 1 Mercantile Street, Worcester.   The summit promotes students to take an active role in building a healthy community through education and positive action.  We welcome Liz Murray, author of Breaking Night and subject of the Emmy-nominated original film Homeless to Harvard as our keynote speaker.  

For more information, please contact Ann Gibbons-Smith at 774-243-3809

Keynote Speaker: Liz Murray

The Visions of Change Youth Summit was created to support our future leaders and to help cultivate an atmosphere of engaged learning and positive change. Education is the foundation of the Visions of Change Youth Summit. We believe a solid education improves the overall health and wellness of our community. By attending the Summit we hope to increase students’ knowledge of current issues in the community and work collectively to explore real solutions they can initiate within their schools and neighborhoods. Murray overcame the physical and mental adversities of childhood homelessness in New York City while attending high school. After completing high school in two years, all while camping out in New York City parks and subway stations, she was awarded a full scholarship to Harvard University.

Murray is passionate about speaking on the importance of personal motivation, transforming problems into opportunities, and what it takes to make a difference in people’s lives. Her firsthand account of the realities of youth homelessness will inspire area high school students by bringing a different and relatable side to the challenges of this issue, one many face, in Worcester County.

Murray received her Bachelor of Science degree from Harvard University. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Psychology at Columbia University. As an inspirational speaker with the Washington Speakers Bureau, Murray frequently presents dynamic talks to audiences ranging from several hundred to several thousand. Some of her clients include Coca-Cola, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, United Way, BlackRock and numerous colleges and universities across the United States.

Area high schools that have attended the Youth Summit include:

  • Doherty Memorial High School
  • Burncoat High School
  • South High Community School
  • North High School
  • Worcester Technical High School
  • Claremont Academy
  • University Park Campus School
  • Abby Kelley Foster High School
  • Holy Name Central Catholic Jr/Sr H.S
  • Notre Dame Academy
  • St. Mary's Jr/Sr High School
  • Wachusett Regional High School
  • St. Peter Marian Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School
  • Millbury High School


Founded in 2011, the Visions of Change Youth Summit is an exciting half day conference full of high energy, inspiration, motivational speakers and is a unique opportunity for Worcester County's high school students to work collaboratively to address issues in the community. This interactive conference will provide teens with: tools to lead, increase advocacy skills, provide current information on community issues to become informed citizens, and empower them to become agents of change in their world. The Visions of Change Summit was created by CMHA's Youth Against Homelessness and South High Community School to promote high students in taking an active role in building a healthy community through education and positive action.

Previous Summit Keynote Speakers

  • Dr. Sampson Davis
  • Liz Murry, author of Breaking Night and subject of the Emmy-nominated original film Homeless to Harvard
  • Dr. Gail E. Carberry, President of Quinsigamond Community College
  • Josh Kraft President, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation

Previous Speakers and Panelists

  • Mayor Joseph M. Petty
  • Representative Jim J. O'Day
  • Maurie Bergeron, Luk Inc.
  • Chris Collins, UNUM
  • Libby Hayes, Homes for Families
  • Cary Olson-Cartwright, UNUM
  • Valerie Paric, One Family Scholars Program
  • Kelly Turely, MA Collation for the Homeless
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi
For more information, please contact Ann Gibbons-Smith at 774-243-3809

WALK photography by Joe Santa Maria - Kill the Ball Media