A 45-minute video by Burbank teens dealing with problems they face
and the solutions they have devised is going through its final edit,
and will be aired on Charter Communications Channel 6 starting next
"One of our goals was to make sure that whatever we did would be
appealing to teens," video narrator Brynn Larsen, 16, said.
The video is the end result of a questionnaire distributed a year
and a half ago to Burbank students. When then-Mayor Bill Wiggins
wanted to learn about what issues perplex local youths, he had the
questionnaire distributed to students in grades 7 through 12 in all
public and private city schools. The students were asked about the
most pressing problems they face in Burbank. Many of the students'
responses were similar -- concerns about drugs and alcohol, domestic
as well as school violence, their relationship with police, and
issues dealing with sex and depression.
"We had a very high response, and a good mixture of public and
private schools," said Sommer Embree, the city's youth employment and
resources supervisor. "Peer pressure was an underlying stream in all
the issues we encountered."
The Mayor's Youth Task Force asked for answers to come from the
children, rather than having adults take the material and arrive at
solutions. When the questionnaire results were tallied, officials
decided to hold a youth summit allowing students to search for
Twenty-six students, all members of Burbank Youth For Youth,
coordinated the day's events at the Hilton Burbank Airport in
October. It was attended by 180 students. At the summit, students
voiced the need for a teen center as a place where they can go for
help, not only with their homework, but in dealing with violence in
the home, Embree said.
"Having teens on TV talking about these issues was one of the
specific solutions," Embree said.