Hooper: Conference looks to boost teens’ identity search

Frank D. Murphy will host the â\u0080\u009CPut Down Your Fake ID Youth Leadership Conference" on Sept. 15. Photo courtesy of Frank D. Murphy Program.
Frank D. Murphy will host the â\u0080\u009CPut Down Your Fake ID Youth Leadership Conference" on Sept. 15. Photo courtesy of Frank D. Murphy Program.
Published September 2
Updated September 3

We worry about identity theft these days with good reason. But teensí search for their identity can be just as concerning. Society seems to come up with new ways to pull them in self-defeating directions.

While I often believe media reflects society, not the other way around, itís notable that much of the music, movies and TV these days reflect darker themes and more serious issues. So a conference that former Buc Frank D. Murphy will stage caught my eye: "Put Down Your Fake ID Youth Leadership Conference."

"I donít want the youth to be a copy of something fake," he says. "They should feel encouraged and full of joy to be themselves at all times and not what TV, social media, their environment and society says about them."

Murphy, recognized by former President Barack Obama for his philanthropic work, welcomes 500 Tampa Bay youths to attend the Sept. 15 conference at Hillsborough Community Collegeís Dale Mabry Campus. It will feature music and notable speakers, including former Three 6 Mafia member Mr. Dell and Crossover Church leader Tommy Kyllonen.

Given the growing range of societal pitfalls, teens need all the useful advice they can get, not only to figure out who they are but to believe in what they can become. Ö

Seen on a bumper sticker: Iíd Be A Vegetarian, If Bacon Was A Vegetable. Ö

Iím worried the expected storms today and Tuesday could worsen the Red Tide, but letís hope it has the opposite effect.

Lessons from the Aretha Franklin and John McCain funerals: be clear, shine the light, speak truth to power, and remember that sometimes less is more.

Thatís all Iím saying.

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