Sunday, March 15, 2015

MY FEST ’15 – Breaking the Cycle

8th Annual Youth Event Inspires and Entertains to help bring awareness to the community and offer insight into resources available.

This eighth annual MY Fest is a FREE community event held to raise awareness about mental health,
substance abuse, foster care and other issues facing youth and young adults. MY Fest will feature live music, Cyphers Center for Urban Arts - break dancing battle stage, graffiti battle and DJ competition, artists, free food, and a variety of youth and a variety of family-based organizations offering information and resources; and much more!

MY Fest is planned and produced by the youth group MY LIFE in partnership with Cyphers Center for Urban Arts and numerous other youth serving organizations. Since MY Fest’s inception in 2008, more than 40,000 people have attended the family-friendly event at Tempe Beach Park to learn more about resources and services for youth and families.

MY Fest 2014 drew a crowd of nearly 10,000 people and featured 70 youth and family serving community and social service organizations. To get an idea of what MY Fest is all about, watch this MY Fest 2014 Video and this news story from the 2013 event MY Fest AZ on NBC News and visit MY LIFE on Facebook and  

MY Fest 2015 features:
·         Singing sensation CeCe Peniston “Finally”
·         Cypher’s Urban Arts Land
·         Dance Battle Stage
·         Graffiti Battle
·         DJ Battle
·         Incredible bands and hip hop artists
·         MY LIFE Discovery activities and crafts for younger children
·         Free food
·         Prizes
·         Plus, more than 60 exhibitors with valuable youth and family resources

WHEN:             Sunday, March 22, 2015
                        Noon to 5 p.m.

WHERE:           Tempe Beach Park
                        54 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe

WHO:               MY LIFE and Cyphers Center for Urban Arts
(Interviews available with youth *)

WHY:                MY Fest ’15 will provide youth and families the opportunity to enjoy inspirational music, art and entertainment, and learn about the many resources and caring support that are available to them, in order to help “Break the Cycle” of some of these devastating statistics

·         Arizona has had the highest rate in the nation of binge drinking by high school students.
·         Arizona ranks fifth nationally in the rate of children with substantiated reports of abuse and neglect, almost twice the national average
·         Currently statewide there are approximately 10,000 children in foster care
·         Department Of Justice identified Phoenix as one of the top human trafficking jurisdictions in the country
·         In the U.S., among youth ages 10 to 19, 11 percent are estimated to suffer from a serious mental disorder that causes functional impairment of their day-to-day lives at home, in school and with peers. In Arizona, this number translates to more than 97,000 youth who suffer from serious mental illness.
·         Among Arizona youth, ages 12 to 17, 9 percent have suffered an episode of serious depression.
·         Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people, ages 11 to 21, in Arizona.

*(Statistics: U.S. Surgeon General, U.S. Census, SAMHSA, Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services)


Interviews available with Cypher’s Center for Urban Arts and MY LIFE Youth on site at MY Fest:
** Spanish language speaking youth will also be available for interviews

Elijah Lucas 19, (Mesa), Elijah entered Child Protective Services (CPS) at the age of 4, and has dealt with sexual abuse, bulling, and mental health issues. Elijah went through over 20 placements while in CPS and now uses his voice to inspire and motivate youth to overcome their own challenges, while making a difference in their communities.

Riley Gibson- 21 (Phoenix)  Riley was In and out of CPS since he was 5, in and out of numerous group homes and placements, Riley dropped out of high school when he was 17 after attending numerous many high schools. Recently he earned his GED. He joined MY LIFE in 2009 and 2012, became president of MY LIFE. Through MY LIFE, Riley has had the opportunity to meet with legislators, lead events like the MY Fest youth festival and share his story with other youth. Said Riley, “MY LIFE is my life.”

Media Contact:  Eva Louis, (602) 492-4843

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